With up to 10 Sharks contracted players expected to turn out for them, the Newtown Jets will be looking to open their account in 2015 when they travel to Kurri Kurri to take on the Newcastle Knights.
Disappointing last week in going down to the Tigers, the Jets have been further bolstered by the inclusion of Sam Tagataese, with the hard running forward to play his first game this season after recovering from a groin injury.
Young gun Jack Bird will also turn out for the Jets after sitting out last weekend as the 18th man for the Sharks NRL squad.
The Jets v Knights VB NSW Cup match is scheduled for a 3.00pm kick off at Kurri Kurri Sportsground.
NSWRL.COM has provided its weekly preview, with Sharks Brisbane recruit Todd Murphy featured.
By Pat Molihan
Newcastle v Newtown: 'MURPH' THE MAN FOR JETS
THE Newtown Jets will look to former Queensland Residents star Todd Murphy to steer the ship against the Knights in round two of the VB NSW Cup after losing Kyle Stanley to yet another serious knee injury.
Stanley underwent his fifth knee reconstruction during the week after he was injured in the Jets 24-14 loss to Wests Tigers in the season opener.
“It’s a big loss. Kyle definitely helps me in controlling the game,” said halfback Murphy who has been joined by Nesiasi Mataitonga in the halves for the Jets trip to Kurri Kurri Sportsground.
“We didn’t play our best last week so we need to concentrate against the Knights. You just look at their (Newcastle) team list, they’ll be strong but we need to worry about us.”
A Caloundra Sharks junior and former Brisbane Broncos under-20s player, Murphy was runner-up to Souths Logan Magpies’ Luke Page in the Queensland Cup best and fairest last year.
His form for Norths Devils led to a move to Cronulla and he’s benefitting from a strong off-season under Sharks coach Shane Flanagan.
“Yeah it’s been good. I’m definitely seeing improvements in my game,” said Murphy.
“I feel faster, stronger and fitter than before.”
Murphy and the rest of the Sharks who play for the Jets normally only get the one session with Newtown.
Flanagan’s told him to ‘concentrate on attitude and being positive around the place’ and that’s just what the Jets need this week.
Newcastle will certainly have the majority of crowd support at Kurri Kurri with Matt Lantry’s side also looking to make amends after letting slip a 18-12 lead at home to lose their opening match of the season to the Warriors.
Newcastle Knights v Newtown Jets, Kurri Kurri Sportsground, Saturday March 14. Kick-off: 3pm. Referee: Damian Briscoe
KNIGHTS: 1. NATHAN ROSS 2. JAKE MAMO 3. CHANEL MATA’UTIA 4. JOSH ALLISON 5. HONETI TUHA 6. CARLOS TUIMAVAVE 7. DANNY KERR 8. SAM MATAORA 9. CHAD REDMAN 10. PATERIKA VAIVAI 11. CLINT NEWTON (C) 12. BRETT JARRETT 13. JOSEPH TAPINE 14. JAKE FINN 15. JAMES TAYLOR 16. JAMES ELIAS 17. MICHAEL STEELE 18. DYLAN HARTIN 2. JAMES DE SAXE 24. THEERAN PEARSON 27. SAM KEENAN
JETS: 1. NATHAN GARDNER 2 JACOB GAGAN 3 JACK BIRD 4 BLAKE AYSHFORD 5 DALLAS WELLS 6. NESIASI MATAITONGA 7. TODD MURPHY 8. SAM TAGATAESE 9. PAT POLITONI 10. SAULALA HOUMA 11. JUNIOR ROQICA 12. PATRICE SIOLO 13. TIM ROBINSON 14. KURT DILLON 15. KURT KARA 17. RAY MOUJALLI 19. BLAKE JUDD