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Reserve Grade match preview: Round 10

Blacktown Workers v Newcastle Knights

Date: Sunday, May 13
Location: HE Laybutt Field
Time: 3pm


1. Brent Naden, 2. Mitch Andrews, 3. Matt Allwood, 4. Brayden Musgrove, 5. Cory Denniss, 6. Jack Johns, 7. Jack Cogger, 8. Jacob Saifiti, 9. Tom Starling, 10. Tyrone Amey, 11. Sam Stone, 12. Brodie Jones, 13. Zac Hosking. Interchange: 14. Faitotoa Faitotoa, 15. Bobby Treacy, 16. Pat Mata'utia, 17. Christian Hazard, 18. Tori Freeman-Quay, 19. Pasami Saulo.

A new coach and hopefully a new start for the nib Newcastle Knights Reserve Grade side, who haven't had much luck so far this season.

Rory Kostjasyn has stepped into the role and for his first stint as Reserve Grade coach last week the team recorded a draw.

This week his side has a few changes to process with another new halves pairing and some comings and goings resulting in a different forward pack.

"That's something that happens a lot in this grade, guys move up and down and get opportunities in first grade or from the 20s," Kostjasyn explained.

"Young guys get opportunities to come up to Reserve Grade, so reshuffling is something you have to deal with."

Jack Johns and Jack Cogger will team up in the halves this week after Brock Lamb moves back to NRL duty.

The duo has previously played together in the 20s last year and in Round 3 this season in Reserve Grade, and Kostjasyn believes it will be a good combination.

"Johns and Coggs I'm confident will gel pretty quickly and I'm looking forward to seeing how they go together," he said.

Jacob Saifiti will be a handy inclusion in the forward pack this week with Josh King getting the call up for his first NRL appearance of the year, while Reserve Grade loses the experience of hooker Danny Levi, who will be replaced by Tom Starling.

"It's pretty common that you don't have the same team two weeks in a row, so all we really expect is the guys to come back to have a real crack and try and improve and do their best for the team," Kostjasyn added.

"We just need to build on all the effort areas, and something I was really pleased with last week, considering we didn't have a great preparation, was about how hard we tried in the tough areas of the game.

"The only instructions we could really give them last week was to try their best especially in defence and I thought they competed really well, worked hard for each other and in the end found a way to get the draw."

Kostjasyn admits the Blacktown Workers have a big, strong side that will be hard to beat down the middle.

"Blacktown have a lot of big bodies that carry the footy pretty well so defensively we'll have to be good and they'll also off-load the ball and play some ad-lib footy," Kostjasyn commented.

"They've also got a pretty handy half in Jackson Hastings who kicks the footy really well and organises the team pretty well, so it will be a good challenge for us defensively."

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