Newcastle Knights Jersey Flegg coach Todd Lowrie says his side’s defensive resilience and not their attacking flair was the key in their 27-8 semifinal win over the Sydney Roosters that has them one win away from a grandfinal appearance in the Under 20’s competition.
The Knights booked a grandfinal qualifier showdown with Penrith next Sunday at Leichhardt Oval by tackling the Roosters out of the contest at Kogarah Oval on Saturday night.
“It was our toughness in defence which won us the game rather than out attack,”Lowrie said.
“We led 6-0 at halftime but we could have been 30 behind. We were caned in the penalties in the first half and made some errors in the slippery conditions and spent the majority of the half defending our line.
“But the boys kept turning up for each other and our scramble was fantastic.
“We didn’t get too many chances to put points on in that first half but Matt Cooper came up with a try and we bombed another chance of two.
“I was worried at halftime how much juice the effort had taken out of us but we finished the game really well fitness-wise and in the last 10 minutes, got away from them.”
A week after making his NRL debut, hooker Tom Starling was outstanding while forwards Beau Fermor and Mat Croker were prominent.
The Knights did a great job to nullify Roosters dangerman Lachlan Lam and their strong centre pairing.