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Newcastle Herald
Newcastle Herald
Max McKinney

Cooper returns for Lakes United to face The Entrance under lights

TRY-TIME: Matt Cooper. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Matt Cooper will return at fullback for Lakes United and Seagulls coach Ian Bourke is hopeful of having "one or two" more players back to face The Entrance tonight.

The Seagulls host the Tigers under lights at Cahill Oval after the game was moved from Sunday to give all involved the weekend off.

Much like Kurri Kurri, the Seagulls already have two washed-out games to make up this season and will likely not have a break now until the end of the season.

Their match against Wests last week was cancelled, giving a number of Seagulls players a chance to nurse injuries.

Coach Ian Bourke said Matt Cooper was a certainty to return after overcoming a hamstring injury that forced him out of the Newcastle Rebels match earlier this month.

He was also hopeful playmaker Jack Kelly might return from a shoulder injury.

"Jack's close to coming back," Bourke said on Thursday.

"We're not sure of the Knights guys, we've got Floyd Tighe and Nick O'Meley and a couple of others there so I need to see over the next 24 hours if we get any of them back.

"Best case we might have Floyd back."

The Seagulls lost to South Newcastle 26-20 in their last game and have only managed one win over Wyong in round three.

Equal eighth on the ladder, the club has a young squad this season but Bourke described it as "balanced" with some experienced players.

The seventh-placed Tigers are coming off a 28-4 loss to Cessnock at home on Sunday.

The game was played on a heavy track, which could benefit Lakes given the short turnaround for the Tigers, but Bourke wasn't expecting too much of an advantage.

"We're concentrating on ourselves this year," he said.

"We just need to focus on what's happening internally with our club and not get too concerned about the opposition.

"We just need to turn up ready to play, focused on effort and our application."

Kick-off at Cahill Oval is scheduled for 7.15pm.

The Lakes United women's side plays Toukley beforehand from 6pm.

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