The nib Newcastle Knights Jersey Flegg squad showed they’re ready for 2018 with a 48-point win over reigning premiers, the Manly Sea Eagles, at Cessnock on Saturday.
It was a quality performance from the Under 20s side, as fullback Matt Cooper snagged a hat trick and halfback Hayden Loughrey registered a double.
In the ten try haul, number 11 Kurtis Dark showed his handy skills with the boot, as he successfully converted nine out of ten conversions.
Coach Todd Lowrie admitted both sides started evenly but then his men ran away with the match.
“I thought Manly turned up ready to play, they won the grand final last year and they probably had six or seven of the same guys in the team, which for a 20s squad is a pretty fair number of people to still have left over from last year,” he said.
“We did particularly well against a strong team and despite putting it to us in the first ten to 15 minutes, we held our ground.
“We started to play how we wanted to play and how we’ve been training and came away with the win.”
Scoring nearly 60 points, the Jersey Flegg coach said there wasn’t much not to like about the encounter with the Sea Eagles.
“Our goal line desperation was pretty good,” Lowrie commented.
“They only managed to score ten points and we held them up over the line a few times so the desperation on our own goal line was pretty good.
“Our attack was on point and we were running hard and supporting each other.”
The Jersey Flegg side takes on the Wests Tigers in Cessnock next week.