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The Newcastle Knights’ depth will be put to the test tonight when they take on the New Zealand Warriors at McDonald Jones Stadium in Round 16 of the NRL season. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:35pm (AEDT).
After an awful start to the season, the Knights rise this season has been nothing short of remarkable. They now sit on 18 points, comfortably inside the top eight.
However, with a host of players either injured or on Origin duty, their back-up troops have been called in.
In the forwards, Daniel Saifiti, Tim Glasby and now David Klemmer will all be playing Origin on Wednesday night. James Gavet will start for the Knights at prop alongside the returning Jacob Saifiti, with Pasami Saulo elevated to the bench. It is still to be confirmed, but in Klemmer’s absence, Aidan Guerra may get the call-up.
Kalyn Ponga and Edrick Lee are both out with injury. Danny Levi comes in at hooker, with Connor Watson shifted to fullback. Kurt Mann moves to centre with Hymel Hunt playing on the wing.
The Warriors in 2019 are exactly what they have been in recent years, unpredictable and frustrating for fans. The occasional impressive win amongst disappointing losses.
Now sitting two wins outside the top eight, it’s getting towards critical stage for this team.
With Nathaniel Roache sidelined with an ACL injury and Leivaha Pulu dropped, Isaac Luke and Lachlan Burr have both been selected on the bench.
This is really a toss of the coin situation, due to the absence of key Knights and uncertainty over which Warriors team rocks up on the night.
Playing at home in front of what will be a big Newcastle crowd, I expect the Knights to just get home.
Knights by 2.
When: 7.35pm AEDT
Where: McDonald Jones Stadium
TV: Fox League
Online: NRL Live, Foxtel app or Foxtel now
Betting: Newcastle Knights: $1.67, Warriors: $2.20
1. Connor Watson 2. Hymel Hunt 3. Kurt Mann 4. Jesse Ramien 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6. Mason Lino 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. James Gavet 9. Danny Levi 10. Jacob Saifiti 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Sione Mata’utia 13. TBA
Interchange: 14. Jamie Buhrer 15. Herman Ese’ese 16. Josh King 17. Pasami Saulo
1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c) 2 David Fusitu’a 3 Peta Hiku 4 Patrick Herbert 5 Ken Maumalo 6 Kodi Nikorima 7 Blake Green 8 Agnastius Paasi 9 Karl Lawton 10 Leeson Ah Mau 11 Adam Blair 12 Isaiah Papali’I 13 Jazz Tevaga
Interchange: 14 Issac Luke 15 Bunty Afoa 16 Sam Lisone 17 Lachlan Burr