Jersey Flegg match preview: Round 7

Wests Tigers v Newcastle Knights

Date: Saturday, April 21
Kick-off: 1.15pm
Venue: Campbelltown Stadium

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

After losses in all three grades last week, there has been some movement in the nib Newcastle Knights camp which has filtered down to ISP and Jersey Flegg.

The Under 20s side, which has recorded five out of six wins this season, will lose regular Matt Cooper in the custodian role to Reserve Grade, but coach Todd Lowrie is quite at ease with his replacement.

"Fullback is Tex Hoy's most natural position so it's something I am not overly concerned about," Lowrie stated.

"He's been playing some good footy and he only went to five-eighth out of necessity the last couple of weeks so I'm comfortable with him playing there.

"He's a lot more comfortable at playing fullback as well so it's handy that he gets to play in his preferred position."

The halves will go back to their original starting line-up in Nash Birch and Hayden Loughrey.

"They haven't played together for a couple of weeks now, being out individually, but I think they provide us with a good balance," explained Lowrie.

"They'll be looking to strike up that partnership again and hopefully give the team the balance that we need."

Hooker Tom Starling continues his run with the Reserve Grade side, alongside teammate Mitch Andrews who has been selected in ISP's starting centre role yet again, with Ofa Manuofetoa to retain his spot back in Jersey Flegg.

Lowrie has also welcomed back forward Pasami Saulo.

"Pasami has played two games for us this year and Ofa has basically been around the team for the whole year and has played really well," Lowrie explained.

"We're happy to have Ofa in the team and to have Pasami back to play some minutes is a great addition.

"It's also good for Matt Cooper and Mitch Andrews to get the opportunity in ISP because they have both being going really well."

Coming up against the Wests Tigers this weekend at Campbelltown, they go into the match with a psychological advantage

The Knights had a resounding 22-point defeat against them in Round 2 and are hoping to make it two from two.

"We have already played the Wests Tigers once this year and we beat them but they're a pretty good team," said the Under 20s coach.

"They tend to be, particularly when at home at Campbelltown, a tough team to beat and being beaten by us once already this year, I think they'll be well and truly up for the game.

"They're always good ball carriers and they're always good in attack."

While for most of the season Lowrie admits his men have been strong in attack, he knows defence is an area they need to work on to continue their winning ways.

"It's a good challenge for us this week to see if we can improve on that area," he said.

"Mostly defending our areas and our mistakes... we've had a look and that's an area we need to be a lot better.

"If we give a penalty away, or if we make an error defending, that next set has been an area that we have been pretty poor in this year so a lot of the opposition tries have come off our mistakes."

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