Reserve Grade Round 2 Preview

Reserve Grade Round 2 Preview
Mao Uta features in the reserve grade Knights’ team for Round 2 against the Newtown Jets.

Newcastle Knights v Newtown Jets

Date: Saturday March 12 
Kick off: 3pm
Venue: Cessnock Sportsground 


1. Bryce Donovan, 2. Ken Tofilau, 3. Jacob Gagai, 4. James Elias, 5. Mao Uta, 6. Danny Kerr, 7. Will Pearsall, 8. Josh King, 9. Krys Freeman, 10. Tama Koopu, 11. Bradie Smith, 12. Tekina Vailea. Interchange: 13. Luke Yates, 14. Kurt Aldridge, 15. Brett Jarrett, 16. Michael Steele, 17. Uiti Baker, 19. Sam Cook. 


1. Arana Taumata, 2. Mitch Brown, 3. Jordan Drew, 4. Matt Evans, 5.
5. Jacob Gagan, 6. Josh Cleeland, 7. Fa’amanu Brown, 8. Junior Roqica, 9. Matt McIlwrick 10. Myles Taueli, 11. Anthony Moraitis, 12. Kurt Capewell, 13. Jason Schirnack. Interchange: 14. Kurt Dillon, 15. Kurt Kara, 17. Malakai Houma, 19. Jaline Graham.

Match analysis:

The reserve grade Newcastle Knights hope to rectify a first round loss when the side takes on the Newtown Jets in a big day of football at Cessnock on Saturday.

A second half lapse in concentration saw the side defeated by the North Sydney Bears last weekend after relinquishing a decent opening lead. 

“I think it wasn’t our best performance, but we are a young side and we need to challenge ourselves to continue to learn from our previous experience,” coach Matt Lantry said. 

“I’m confident we’ll see an improved 80 minute performance from our team.

“The key focus for us will be defence. 

“We want to pride ourselves on our defensive principles week in week out."

Jake Mamo was a casualty of last’s week’s match suffering an ankle injury that’s expected to see him sidelined for a several weeks. 

“That’s a loss for our group and means a re-shuffle in the outside backs,” he said. 

Bryce Donovan moves to fullback and James Elias is welcomed back to the team in the centres.

A number of Newtown’s players have been promoted to the NRL but Lantry notes the side’s strong depth means the team shouldn’t be left short on Saturday.

“They certainly have a strong line-up. They have done a bit of recruitment in the off season,” he said. 

The Knights also brace for another match played in warm weather at Cessnock Sportsground and will prepare accordingly for the challenging conditions. 

“We know what to expect and will prepare well, as the high temperature can sap energy.

“That will give them s chance to perform at their best on the weekend.” 

Where it will be won:


“I’ll be looking for to attitude adjustment defensively,” Lantry said.

“I think if we can have an adjustment to all the basic areas of our defensive structure, particularly in the middle third, we’ll do us a chance to play some entertaining footy.”

Five grades at Cessnock Oval 

It’s a massive day for the Club with five grades playing at Cessnock Sportsground on Saturday. The day kicks off with the U15s Newcastle Knights taking on Farrer Agricultural Memorial High School at 9.30am building towards the reserve grade match at 3pm.

Lantry encourages Knights fans to be at the ground to cheer on the Club and watch the some of the Club’s most talented future stars. 

“We’re looking forward to the day and it would be nice to see five victories,” he said. 


15s 9.30am Knights v Farrer Agricultural High 

17s 10.45 Knights v Farrer Agricultural High

Harold Matthews 12pm Knights v South Syndey 

SG Ball 1.30pm Knights v South Sydney

Reserve Grade 3pm Knights v Newtown Jets 

Entry is $5 from 10.30am onwards

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