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06 Apr 2018 by TSZ

2018 NRL – Newcastle Knights vs Brisbane Broncos Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Saturday 07th April, 10:35 (UK)

Where? McDonald Jones Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Newcastle Knights vs Brisbane Broncos will not be televised live in the UK

Australia - Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match? UK - N/A Australia - https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-...

Are tickets still available? http://www1.ticketmaster.com.au/newcastle-knights-v-brisbane-broncos-newcastle-new-south-wales-07-04-2018/event/1300543DC5C882D0?artistid=1109827&majorcatid=10004&minorcatid=695&tm_link=venue_msg-0_1300543DC5C882D0

THE STATISTICS


THE LOWDOWN

KNIGHTS

Head Coach: Nathan Brown

Starting 13: Ponga, Kenny-Dowall, S. Mata'utia, Ross, Sio, Lamb, Pearce, Ese'ese, Griffin, Lillyman, Fitzgibbon, Guerra, Barnett – Interchanges: Buhrer, Heighington, J. Saifiti, D. Saifiti – Reserves: Yates, Cogger, Levi, Dennis

Unavailable: Dylan Phythian, Connor Watson, Tautau Moga

  • For the second week running, Newcastle came up against classy opposition and were outplayed. The effort was there from the Knights but St George were too good with Newcastle going down 30-12.
  • Newcastle’s worst fears were confirmed this week as Tautau Moga’s knee injury was confirmed as yet another ACL injury. Moga was injured in the act of scoring in the third minute last week with his season now over. Ken Sio comes into the side to replace him with Nathan Ross switching to centre.
  • The Knights only completed at 67% against the Dragons and will need to improve that figure this week. They also missed 38 tackles and made 13 errors with both of those figures needing to be reduced to give themselves a chance against the Broncos.

BRONCOS

Head Coach: Wayne Bennett

Starting 13: Boyd, Oates, Roberts, Bird, Isaako, Milford, Nikorima, Lodge, McCullough, Sims, Glenn, Gillett, McGuire – Interchanges: Thaiday, Ofahengaue, Opacic, Su’A – Reserves: Pearson, Pangai Jnr, Shibasaki, Haas

Unavailable: Andre Savelio, Jordan Kahu

  • Brisbane were surprisingly overturned by Gold Coast last week as the Broncos failed to overcome a slow start and were on the back foot throughout. They were 0-10 down after just five minutes and never recovered, eventually losing out 14-26.
  • Despite being named amongst the reserves, Tevita Pangai Jnr will return from injury and is likely to take the place of Tom Opacic on the bench. Corey Oates also returns to the starting line-up after recovering from a knock. He replaces Jonus Pearson who drops to the reserves.
  • Brisbane had 41 sets last week which was five more than Gold Coast but couldn’t make it count. They were on the right side of a 4-11 penalty count too but despite the good territory they were gifted from that, they couldn’t capitalise with halfback pairing Kodi Nikorima and Anthony Milford tasked with showing some big improvements this week.

THE PREDICTION

Newcastle host Brisbane in an intriguing encounter at McDonald Jones Stadium. The Knights began the season with two wins but have then faced very tough opposition that were too good for them. The Broncos on the other hand have the same record with two wins and two defeats but have lacked consistency in their performances with them only producing one very good performance when beating the Cowboys in Round 2. They were poor against Gold Coast last week and need to be better with ball-in-hand. Newcastle must also respect the ball more and look to get to a kick which they failed to do too many times in last week’s loss. This could be a tight, scrappy affair but the Knights could be the side to get back on track here.

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