Bowls SA’s Marketing and Communications Officer Joe Schwab chats to Northern Knights player Kane Coulls

by BOWLSSA7

From cellar dwellers to table toppers

After a tough 2019 SA Super League season, the Northern Knights have bounced back in convincing fashion to find themselves at the top of the league ladder following the opening two rounds in 2020.

The Knights finished eighth last season, with just one win from seven matches, however their 2020 campaign is already an improvement after winning their opening two matches last Sunday at the Salisbury Bowling Club.

Round one saw them defeat last year’s champions the Central Chargers, before they followed that up with a win over the Western Rogues in round two.

Northern Knights player Kane Coulls said the new season has brought about a fresh start for his side.

“A new year brings with it new possibilities,” he said.

“Because we finished bottom last year, we got to have the first pick and it was great to have Nathan Pedersen available.

“He is probably one of the top four players in the state, so being able to add him was really good.

“Losing Rhys Taylor hurt us a little bit, because he is a good player.

“That gave someone else an opportunity and we were able to pick up Chris Chrisakis, who has added some depth to our squad.”

Coulls said he and his Knights teammates went into Sunday’s opening rounds knowing they were in for a challenge.

“We were under no illusions that we were playing two sides that were probably touted to win the Super League this year,” he said.

“When you look at their squads, and their marquee players, especially at the Western Rogues, they are nearly the state side.

“At the end of the day we have also put together a pretty good side.

“The first game against the Central Chargers was always going to be difficult, especially for myself, playing against my clubmates in Mark Haines and Craig Mills, because we are always pretty competitive, whether we are playing against or with each other.

“It was a good result for us in the first game.

“Our reserves went down in a bit of a nail-biter.

“Again, in the second game I think our reserves went down just in the last few ends again, so that was disappointing for them.

“Will McPharlin did well in the first game against the Central Chargers and then in the second game he got us off to a great start again.

“Having the split games, where we aren’t all playing at the same time, especially by the time the pairs started, having a nine or 10-shot buffer changes the way you play the game.

“Will gave us the best start we could have wished for and our triples held off Josh Studham’s rink.