Jersey Flegg match preview: Round 8
North Sydney Bears v Newcastle Knights
Date: Friday, April 27
Venue: North Sydney Oval
1. Matt Cooper, 2. Lachlan Farr, 3. Brayden Musgrove, 4. Ofa Manuofetoa, 5. Justin Worley, 6. Nash Birch, 7. Hayden Loughrey, 8. Matt Croker, 9. Tom Starling, 10. Jirah Momoisea, 11. Kurtis Dark, 12. Beau Fermor, 13. Brandon Russell. Interchange. 14. Tevita Alifa, 15. Joe Bromage, 16. Luke Huth, 17. Will Davies.
The red and blue Under 20s have a good record so far against the North Sydney Bears this year, after they defeated them in a pre-season trial and again in Round 5 with a convincing 22-point win.
But Jersey Flegg coach Todd Lowrie still believes this week's opponents aren't to be taken lightly at North Sydney Oval under lights on Friday night.
"They're a really good footy team and both in the trial and the last time we played them, they've given us a good run for our money," Lowrie explained.
"They throw the ball around quite a bit and they play quite tough, so I don't think it will be long until things start to stick for them and they start to get a hell of a lot more wins.
"I just hope it's not this weekend, so we'll need to be at our best."
The speedy Matt Cooper will be back in the fullback role for the Under 20s after he made his first appearance in ISP last week, along with a few other teammates who have been rewarded for their good start to the season.
"We've got Coops back and Brayden Musgrove, those two guys were good in Reserve Grade last weekend from all reports and from what I saw, but with guys coming back from injury, they drop back," Lowrie said.
"I'm certainly happy with the way they've been going and what they've been doing.
"Tom Starling has played a bit with us and played a bit with ISP as well, and again he has been going really well in both grades.
"He's a guy that is very experienced in what he does and is certainly a good asset to have in our team... a real leader and influence on the other guys so we'll certainly take him whenever we can get him."
The Jersey Flegg coach admits his side's toughness and resilience has been a highlight for the season so far.
"It's something that we have as a footy team," Lowrie said.
"Everyone has always got something to work on, we can always be better at the execution type things, but our toughness has been tested this year and to the guys' credit, they have certainly ticked all the boxes."
With six wins from seven games on the board in 2018, the Under 20s side is experiencing smooth sailing so far but Lowrie is adamant they can't take the foot off the pedal.
"Every week we still identify things that we can do better and things that we can keep working on," he said.
"I've been around footy long enough to know that you certainly don't go around thinking that you're going alright just because you've had a few wins, because you're only one performance away from not going so well.
"They are working hard each and every week, and if you turn up to watch us at training every week, you wouldn't know whether we've had one win or six wins."