Jersey Flegg match preview: Round 3

Parramatta Eels v Newcastle Knights

Date: Sunday, March 25
Kick-off: 1pm
Venue: Ringrose Park

Team

1. Matt Cooper, 2. Lachlan Farr, 3. Brayden Musgrove, 4. Mitch Andrews, 5. Justin Worley, 6. Nash Birch, 7. Hayden Loughrey, 8. Pasami Saulo, 9. Tom Starling, 10. Jirah Momoisea, 11. Kurtis Dark, 12. Beau Fermor, 13. Brandon Russell. Interchange. 14. Tevita Alifa, 15. Henry-Siriah Fuimaono, 16. Luke Huth, 17. Will Davies, 18. Matthew Croker, 19. Joe Bromage.

The nib Newcastle Knights Jersey Flegg squad are going into Round 3 at the top of the table after back-to-back wins.

This week they come up against last year’s grand finalists the Parramatta Eels who have only one win to their name.

Coach Todd Lowrie said they get to welcome back handy forward Pasami Saulo this week, who will be getting a start in the number eight jersey.

“Pasami is coming back, he’s had a couple of games up with the ISP squad but time for him to come back and play in his own age group for this week anyway,” explained Lowrie.

“Hopefully he does a good job of that because he’s one of our better players.”

It hasn’t been that long since the Knights last had a match up with the Eels, with the Under 20s side defeating them in a trial last month.

Lowrie admits it was only a trial and expects the opponent to be a little bit different this time around.

“They brought a pretty big squad down and played a lot of players but this week they’ll obviously be sticking to their strongest team,” commented the Under 20s coach.

“They gave us a really good match up in the first half when they had their strongest team, they were on top at half time and then we managed to run away with it in the second half so we’re expecting a really tough game by all reports.”

Lowrie predicts Parramatta will be one of the teams to beat this season.

“They’re supposed to be one of the better teams in the competition and they were last year’s grand finalists and were probably unlucky not to win,” he said.

“They have got a lot of the same guys from last year’s team so they’re expected to be one of the stronger teams.

“We’re looking forward to the challenge of coming up against them and playing a bit better than we did last week.”

Lowrie maintained that last week’s performance was an indicator they still need a lot of improvement early in their season.

“The conditions contributed to our performance last week and whilst we still won, all the guys probably agreed that we were all below where we needed to be,” Lowrie claimed.

“We’ll be looking to come out and play better this week and there’s no better challenge than our first away game up against one of the better teams in the competition.

“We’ll be focusing on how we complete our sets, get our defence sorted out and how we’re controlling the ruck and I think those three things are paramount this time of the year."