The Greater Northern Tigers under-18s take an unchanged side into Saturday’s Laurie Daley Cup clash with the Newcastle Maitland Region Knights at Cessnock’s Baddeley Park.
The Darry Rando-coached outfit beat Northern Rivers Titans 36-20 at Armidale Rugby League Park last weekend, their second win in three rounds.
The Tigers have an unchanged starting 13 for the 27 February encounter, with only Joash Boney coming into the 17-man squad and Ned Chapman reverting to the 18th man.
“We’ve got the same 18 as last week, just one slight change with Joash coming into the 17,” Rando said.
“It’s a big game for us.
“If we can win this we can go to second.
“We’ve got to get a good start and go from there.”
The Tigers played well in patches last Saturday but gave up some unforced errors at various times to let Northern Rivers back into the game several times.
“We scored a try and then dropped it from the kick-off twice,” Rando recalled.
“Then we kicked out on the full and made too many errors, just some little things under pressure but they are things we can fix.
“It’s up to the individuals.”
Rando thought the Tigers’ “go-forward” was “real good through the middle” and will be hoping for that to continue.
His front-row of Jake Clydsdale, Mark Simon and hooker Harry Reid were excellent while second-rower Luke Smith also excelled, scoring two tries of his own after hooker Reid crossed for three.
Halves Pichai “Tommy” Dixon and Ethan Antzakles directed play well along with outstanding fullback Mitch Henderson.
Henderson’s attacking prowess was evident to all at ARLP – and he continues to be a major attacking weapon for the Tigers.
His ability to chime into the raids out wide or on the blind make him a danger as a ball player or a runner.
- by Geoff Newling
GREATER NORTHERN TIGER UNDER-18s: 1 Mitch Henderson, 2 Billy Youman, 3 Blake Johnson, 4 Corben Hampstead, 5 Alex Lawrence, 6 Ethan Antzakles, 7 Pichai Dixon, 8 Mark Simon, 9 Harry Reid, 10 Jake Clydsdale, 11 Luke Smith, 12 Hayden Bull, 13 Sam Fechner, 14 Jesse Cadalbert, 15 Joash Boney, 16 Dan McMillan, 17 Charlie Parsons, 18 Ned Chapman. Coach – Darryl Rando