NSW CAS: Knox out to get title chances back on track in tough away clash against Trinity

Knox coach Tai Glassie is confident his side can still claim the 2019 CAS premiership despite a disappointing loss to Cranbrook in their final match before the holidays.

Glassie’s side started the season in style with an impressive win over Waverley on opening weekend, but fell short six days later when they met Cranbrook in a Friday night match at Woollahra Oval.

“There was a lot of emotion after the Waverley game and it was a great win but then a week later we came up against a really willing Cranbrook side and they deserved to win on the day,” Glassie said.

“We were probably a little bit complacent and our mindset just wasn’t there. We had opportunities to build momentum throughout the game but we just turned ball over time after and time and we ended up playing catch up all match.

“You can talk about momentum all you like though, but on the day they just wanted it more. It was similar to how we played against Waverley.”

The 1-1 start sees Knox sit in the middle of a congested competition ladder, with Barker the only undefeated side remaining.

Knox travel to play Trinity on Saturday when the competition returns from the school holiday break  and Glassie seems confident his side will bounce back from the Cranbrook loss.

“We had 10 players selected to play for CAS, seven picked to play at the National Championships and then we had one picked in the Australian Barbarians side and two in the shadow squad, so we’ve certainly got the players, we just need to find that belief and play our best rugby,” he said.

“The boys know they didn’t perform well against Cranbrook and I think that came down to pressure.

“It’s funny what pressure can do in rugby and you can identify that all you want but at the end of the day, we’re still dealing with 16 to 18 year old boys so the mental side of the game is really important.”

Trinity started their season with a scrappy 26-19 win over Aloys, then fell short against Barker in round two, but Glassie said he’s been impressed by what he’s seen of them so far this year.

“They’ve got big Malachi Hawkes at prop, he’s a very strong player. Ky Willoughby at scrumhalf is really dangerous around the ruck area and plays a long way above his weight and then you’ve got Sione Vuki who is a great ball carrier and great at creating space for players around him.

“We’ll have our work cut out for us but we’re hoping we can build momentum by dominating key areas of the game like the set piece and then play off the back of that.”

In the round other matches, Waverley host Cranbrook in the Eastern Suburbs local derby, while Barker travel to play Aloys.

“I won’t be surprised by any result we see this weekend. It’s just the nature of the 2019 CAS competition,” Glassie continued.

“You’ve got Barker with two wins. No one would have expected Waverley to have lost twice but I think they’ll turn things around. Then you’ve got Cranbrook, Aloys and Trinity who are all playing really well.”

“In the back of our heads, we know that we probably need to win our final three games to win it, but our focus has to be on Trinity this week and then we’ll go from there.”

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