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Jersey Flegg match preview: Round 5

Newcastle Knights v North Sydney Bears

Date: Saturday, April 7
Kick-off: 3.30pm
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium


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

Sitting top of the ladder with a four from four record, the nib Newcastle Knights Jersey Flegg squad have had a stellar start to the 2018 season.

While coach Todd Lowrie might be riding the wave of momentum, he said he’s well aware they need to keep working hard to keep those positive results coming.

“I judge them on whether they are playing to their potential,” Lowrie explained.

“There has been a couple of weeks where we have been a little bit disappointed with our performance but the start on the weekend was really good and we’re looking to have more games like that in the future.”

After his impressive hat trick last week Tex Hoy will again get a start in the side, but this time at five-eighth, replacing Hayden Loughrey who is out with shoulder problems.

“Tex Hoy’s natural position is fullback but Hayden Loughrey is out this week and Tex has played two trials for us, one at fullback and one at five-eighth,” he said.

“He’s probably been one of our best players on the field and with Hayden out and Matt Cooper set to be back, Tex certainly deserves his spot in the team somewhere.

“I think the best spot for him in the team at the moment is going to be five-eighth.

“Hayden’s shoulder injury got the better of him this week so hopefully he can strengthen it up and he won’t miss too many games.”

Matthew Croker also gets his first start for the season in the number 13 jersey.

“He played a lot for us last year and started quite a few games, and with some other guys we have brought in to the club, he’s been on the bench,” Lowrie stated.

“He’s been really good, particularly on the weekend, so he gets rewarded with a starting spot.”

With only one win from four, the North Sydney Bears will be hungry to get some more points on the board but Lowrie is under no illusions they’ll be easy beats.

“I have watched a few of their games recently, they played the Dragons and they were very unlucky,” Lowrie admitted.

“They were creating a whole lot of opportunities that could have changed the game, so although they’ve only won one game, they’ve very dangerous and I’m expecting quite a tough game.”

Lowrie maintains it will be good to be back at McDonald Jones Stadium, playing the opener of a three game fixture on Saturday.

“It’s our first game at McDonald Jones Stadium for the year and then being a Saturday afternoon, I know the boys are quite excited about playing,” commented Lowrie.

“I just hope that we get some sort of crowd there, being that the first grade play the Broncos, and get a few turn up early to watch us because the boys get a really big kick out of it.”