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Reserve Grade match preview: Round 8

North Sydney Bears v Newcastle Knights

Date: Friday, April 27
Location: North Sydney Oval
Time: 7.30pm


1. Brent Naden, 2. Tom Hughes, 3. Matt Allwood, 4. Cory Denniss, 5. Thomas Cronan, 6. Daniel Peck, 7. Brock Lamb, 8. Josh King, 9. Daniel Levi, 10. Tyrone Amey, 11. Sam Stone, 12. Tori Freeman-Quay, 13. Zac Hosking. Interchange: 14. Faitotoa Faitotoa, 15. Bobby Treacy, 16. Pat Mata'utia, 17. Christian Hazard, 18. Pasami Saulo, 19. Junior Roqica.

The nib Newcastle Knights ISP side will be looking to get one back against the North Sydney Bears after their 18-point loss against them last time they met.

The Reserve Grade squad has had a tough start to the season, registering only one win and a draw so far, but
coach Simon Woolford still has faith his men can produce some good footy to get better results.

This week the side welcomes back handy fullback Brent Naden, who returns from injury.

"Last time we played North Sydney, Nado battled through the game with a quad problem and they found a little tear," Woolford explained.

"He probably could have played last week but we went the safe option, and he's fully right to go.

"He trained well this week and we need his experience, he has played a lot of fullback and being down on troops we need him back."

Matt Allwood is also back in the starting line-up.

"Matt got injured in our first trial so he's a guy with plenty of experience which is something we've really lacked," Woolford said.

"We've had a tough month and we've certainly missed guys like Nado and Matty Allwood, so touch wood Matty's ankle gets through well and he can put some matches together and find some good form for us."

Woolford is fielding a new halves pairing in Daniel Peck and Brock Lamb at halfback, and although quite fresh, the Knights coach has been impressed with what he has seen so far.

"Defensively Peck is really good," he added.

"At times we're a little bit disjointed, a little bit disorganised and we came up with some errors last week, but the good thing is Peck defended really well so we can work on the attack side of things.

"Hopefully those guys can play more fluently together on Friday."

Woolford admits last time they encountered their North Sydney opponents the effort didn't seem to be there.

"Last time we played them we were poor at home, we started poorly and they were up 18-nil after 20 minutes," he stated.

"Our effort wasn't good enough, it allowed them to get away to a big lead.

"We won the second half against them but we need to make sure we start well.

"We need to do all the little things right and if we can, we have got some players that can put on some points for us."

The ISP coach admits the Bears have got a line-up of experience and talent that will be hard to beat.

"They've got some attack in them, Robbie Farah is playing for them so a lot of it comes off him," Woolford commented.

"They've got some young smart halves blokes like Braidon Burns and Luke Turner, all these guys have played some NRL.

"They've got some decent players in their team and they're well coached so we just need to match their effort and see how we go.

"There are some individual things that we need to improve on and if we can do that, and maintain the effort that we displayed last week, a win is not too far around the corner."