Match Preview: NYC Eels v Knights
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels Under 20s side will be looking to bounce back from an emphatic 40-22 Round 6 defeat as they take on the Newcastle Knights at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.
The Round 7 clash sees a slightly reshuffled Blue and Gold line up, with Atini Gafa moving into the centres, Zach Dockar-Clay returning to the halves after an appearance in NSW Cup, and Dyldan Izzard moving from the number 6 jersey to dummy half.
Gafa was electrifying in the Eels’ loss at Pirtek Stadium, making a clear impression with two tries and quality touches, while fullback Bevan French continues to find his feet in the number one jersey after beginning the season in the halves.
Steven Hales’ young Eels side will take on a Knights outfit that, while battling injuries, will also be hardened by a gutsy 4-point away win over the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in Round 6.
Last time the two sides met, in Round 25, 2014, the Knights edged out the Eels 34-30 at Hunter Stadium.
Match Details: Sunday, April 19. Kick off at 1.45pm. Hunter Stadium, Newcastle.
Parramatta Eels NYC side:
1. Bevan French, 2. Abbas Miski, 3. Atini Gafa, 4. Nathan Davis, 5. Reimis Smith, 6. Jason Vidal, 7. Zach Dockar-Clay, 8. Brandon Raeli, 9. Dylan Izzard, 10. Alex Twal (c), 11. Tyrell Fuimaono, 12. Jordan Muna, 13. Tom Amone. Interchange 14. Alec Bush, 15. Paula Kaufusi, 16. Aaron Pene, 17. Tepai-Tepu Smith, 18. Kurt De Luis.
Newcastle Knights NYC side:
1. Bryce Donovan, 2. Fuaimamao Uta, 3. Josh Birch, 4. Braden Robson, 5. Ken Tofilau, 6. Brock Lamb, 7. Jack Cogger, 8. Josh King, 9. Danny Levi, 10. Daniel Saifiti, 11. Bradie Smith, 12. Jacob Saifiti, 13. Luke Yates. Bench: 14. Jack Kelly, 15. Ben Steven, 16. Faitotoa Faitotoa, 17. Ben Stone, 18. Noah Easton, 20. Tyrone Amey.