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Opinion

Newcastle’s revamped season run

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With the season set to resume at last on Thursday May 28th, we have a lot of changes.

We have ourselves one on-field ref only, the new six-again rule and most teams having to play their home games away from home. Before I go on, I just want to give my thank you to the Warriors, who have chosen to come across the Tasman Sea to ensure the season will go on.

Now on the topic for Newcastle, they do have a tough run home but a doable one. Facing North Queensland, Melbourne and Manly twice will not be easy for them but from what I saw in the first two rounds, I see a different team than the one who got massacred by Penrith to finish the 2019 season.

Round 3: May 31st – Penrith away at Campbelltown Stadium
Round 4: June 7th – Canberra away at Campbelltown Stadium
Round 5: June 13 – Melbourne home at Central Coast Stadium
Round 6: June 18 – Brisbane home at Central Coast Stadium
Round 7: June 27 – North Queensland away at Queensland Country Bank Stadium
Round 8: July 5 – Manly “away” at Central Coast Stadium
Round 9: July 12 – Parramatta home at Central Coast Stadium
Round 10: July 18 – South Sydney away
Round 11: July 26 – Canterbury home
Round 12: August 2nd – Melbourne away
Round 13: August 8th – Wests Tigers home
Round 14: August 16th – Manly home
Round 15: August 23rd – North Queensland home
Round 16: August 29th – Warriors away
Round 17: September 4th – Cronulla home
Round 18: September 12th – Sydney away
Round 19: September 20th – St George Illawarra home
Round 20: September 25th – Gold Coast away

Rounds 10-20 haven’t got any locations because if possible, all teams may be able to return to their home grounds. With the virus rate dropping, bit-by-bit fans may be able to attend but not sell out games.

Mitchell Pearce doing the double teapot.

(Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Here are the teams that will be the toughest tests for Newcastle:

Manly
Newcastle and Manly always seem to have battles in their ongoing rivalry. Manly has revamped well with the return of Des Hasler and always tend to take Newcastle to the sword.

Melbourne
Consistency on top of the game, the Storm are a true test of patience and will for any team. When your team plays Melbourne, 99.99 per cent isn’t acceptable.

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Canberra
From taking Sydney to the wire in last year’s grand final to firing on all cylinders this year, Canberra are the team to beat.

I’m not going to make a list of easy beats because in all fairness, there’s no such thing. Jayden Brailey is a huge loss for Newcastle but Andrew McCullough is on board with the Knights just for this season to fill in for him. Adam O’Brien told Mitchell Pearce we have a top-four side and I for one would just love to make the finals so we can set a platform.

Without a doubt, I would love Newcastle to win the big one but I’m not going to make any predictions.

Roarers, what do you think about the season schedule change? Who is your team and who do you face twice?