PLAYER-coach Mitch Knight warned that Newcastle City will need their kicking boots on if they are to end the winning start of an "improved" Warners Bay in their AFL Hunter Central Coast battle at Feighan Oval on Saturday.
The Blues are coming off a 55-point win over Gosford. They kicked 14 majors, including six in the third term, but could have really blown the margin out had it not been for 18 behinds.
"Our kicking was definitely poor on the weekend," Knight said. "We kicked straight in the third quarter too, which made the score look a bit better than it was. It was poor execution to be honest. Most of last week was set shots. It's something we have addressed."
City will be without Connor and Egan Bradbury and Knight has recalled seasoned ruckman Cameron Keast and moved Keegan Mason to centre half forward.
"Cameron had last year off but has nearly 200 games experience and is a pretty handy player," Knight said.
Warners Bay have been the surprise packet and are unbeaten after three rounds, highlighted by an upset win over Cardiff on ANZAC Day.
"They have definitely improved," Knight said. "Nathan Harkness has been there for 12 months. They have some good juniors coming through and they have also picked up a couple of players. We definitely won't be taking them lightly."
Harkness said the Dogs had taken confidence from an "outstanding win for our club" over Cardiff but was happy to again wear the underdog tag.
"We will go out very confident but it is the same situation," he said. "We are the underdog and have to try and knock off a side we have not beaten for many years.
"It comes down to concentration and belief. You have to nullify their better players and you have to nullify the way they move the ball.
"We can't use last week as any guide. If we can apply pressure and be switched, we will be in the contest. Once we are in it, that is half the battle."
Brandt Job kicked four goals for the Bulldogs against the Hawks and is part of a leadership group along with Luke Roach, Lachlan Deverell and Joseph Atkinson that is setting the tone.
Meanwhile, Cardiff captain Bryce Graetz will miss the clash against Killarney Vale at Adelaide Street after indicating he will plead guilty to a rough conduct charge at a tribunal hearing next week.
Graetz was put on report for a bump that left Gosford youngster Talon Hopper with serious facial injury in the Hawks' one-point loss to the Tigers on April 17.
The tribunal hearing, which is a centralised process conducted remotely out of Sydney, was put back by a week due to a delay in obtaining medical information.
As a result Graetz was free to play in the loss to Warners Bay on ANZAC Day.
The club has since indicated that Graetz will be pleading guilty and will put a case forward regarding a potential sentence.
In other games, premiers Terrigal-Avoca meet Gosford in a derby at Moore Oval and Maitland welcome Singleton to McMahon Oval.
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