Round 8 NSW Cup Preview
After another last-gasp 25-22 victory over the Magpies, the Newcastle Knights are the Harry Houdini’s of the VB NSW Cup this season with a tendency for final-minute theatrics.
“We’ve had our share of last minute wins,” Knights coach Matt Lantry said. “We’ve also had our share of last minute loses like against Mounties in round six- we should’ve won that game.
“Against Illawarra in round five we were up 24-4 at halftime and run down to find ourselves behind 26-24 (before winning). It shows good character within our team and we don’t lie down when things are going against us.”
While Lantry is pleased with his side’s ability to prevail in the final moments, he is more alarmed with a consistent 80-minute effort and knows that his side can’t afford any slow periods against the Bulldogs on Sunday.
“We keep chipping away knowing there are opportunities at the end of the game. Our starts are really good but it’s the middle period of the game that we need to focus our attention to be better for the entire 80 minutes.
“It’s not anything other than concentration and how you handle adversity where you have to defend repeat sets, back-to-back errors or penalties. “
Canterbury is desperate for the two points against Newcastle in keeping their standing in the top eight of the VB NSW Cup ladder.
“We’re expecting a typical Bulldogs performance-tough and gritty. We need to make sure of starting well and stay in that consistent grind for two 40-minute periods.”
Newcastle v Canterbury: (Venue TBC, Sunday 26 April, 3:00pm)
This article first appeared on www.nswrl.com.au