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Rookie Report: Young guns aiming to respond on Old Boys Day

In this week's Rookie Report, we take a look at the nib Newcastle Knights players developing in the Knock-On-Effect NSW Cup competition.

The side will look to respond with an improved performance when they take on the Parramatta Eels this Sunday.

Coming off a 38-16 loss to the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles, the side currently sit in fifth place ahead of a crucial game with the Eels.

"We had some challenges and we're light on in the second half in terms of our interchange," Ryan said.

"We made some poor errors on play one, play two and let in some soft tries after working so hard on our goal-line.

"We had some positives with Bailey Hodgson, Dom Young and Jirah Momoisea back from injury."

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Mat Croker was one of the standouts for the side scoring a try and running for 123 metres from 12 runs.

Gehamat Shibasaki and Dom Young were strong in the centres with four tackle breaks each with Young combining with three offloads while Shibasaki made a team-high 132 running metres.

"Mat Croker got our player's player," Ryan said.

"Again, he's been one of our strong performers and for that reason he's been named on the extended bench for the NRL side this week.

"Zac Hosking got our coaches award and along with Croker, these two have been our co-captains.

"They continue to turn up and get the job done every week."

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The young Knights will welcome the Eels challenge, with the blue and gold sitting third on the NSW Cup ladder.

Parramatta have won six of their 10 games including a 22-12 win over the Rabbitohs last time out.

Newcastle will celebrate Old Boys Day on Sunday and coach Ryan says the players will want to put in a strong performance on one of the most important days on the Knights calendar.

"We'll need to be good and it's a benefit we're at home," Ryan said.

"It's a big part of what we do in our team that we respect the guys who have worn the jersey before us.

"We spoke about those guys a lot who have laid the foundations and it will certainly be part of our thinking (on Sunday)."