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Reserve Grade match preview: Round 5

Newcastle Knights v North Sydney Bears

Date: Saturday, April 7
Location: McDonald Jones Stadium
Time: 5.15pm


1. Brent Naden, 2. Tom Hughes, 3. Jacob Gagai, 4. Cory Denniss, 5. Thomas Cronan, 6. Christian Hazard, 7. Jack Cogger, 8. Josh King, 9. Danny Levi, 10. Cameron King, 11. Sam Stone, 12. Brodie Jones, 13. Luke Yates. Interchange: 14. Daniel Peck, 15. Tyrone Amey, 16. Bobby Treacy, 17. Faitotoa Faitotoa, 18. Harry Van Dartel, 19. Pat Mata’utia, 20. Chris Randalll, 21. Junior Roqica, 22. Ryan Stig, 23. Jack Johns.

Four rounds in and just one win to their name, the Newcastle Knights ISP squad are desperate to get some more points on the board.

As the usual script goes, there’s been a few disruptions to the side with injuries at Reserve Grade and NRL level, but coach Simon Woolford admits it’s created opportunities for other players.

“That’s no different to any other club, so it gives our part time guys an opportunity,” Woolford explained.

“Some of them have been waiting for it and there will be a couple that get it this week.”

Losing winger Ken Sio to NRL as the 18th man last week, he has again been called up for first grade duties, as Jacob Gagai continues his good work in the centres.

“I thought he did a really good job, he looked really good with the ball and defensively he was sound,” claimed Woolford.

“He was just one of those guys that was waiting for an opportunity and I thought he took it last week so I’m looking forward to seeing him improve.”

Losing their first three games, the North Sydney Bears are set to be hungry to finally get some points on the board.

“The Bears have got some really good players, they haven’t had much luck, they’ve lost their first three games and had the bye last week,” stated the Knights ISP coach.

“I know their coach, he’ll have them ready to go, he’s a good coach and I know they’ll be coming up confident they can beat us.”

Woolford admits his men will be just as desperate to claim victory.

“It hasn’t been an awful start to the season and we have thrown away a game or two, so it’s important we keep working towards a complete performance,” he said.

“Last week we were in the game with 20 minutes to go and some individual lapses in concentration cost the team, so we just need to keep working hard to make sure we eliminate them as much as we can and I think once we do that, we’ll start to get some results.”

It will be a three game fixture this Saturday with the ISP squad an opener to the NRL clash against the Brisbane Broncos.

“It’s good to be back at home and to have three grades playing at home for the first time this year,” Woolford added.

“There’ll be plenty to play for and they’re be plenty of reasons to play well and I think the guys will be up for it and they will be excited.

“There’ll be a nice crowd there on a Saturday afternoon so I expect the boys to be excited and come ready to play.”