2018 NRL – Newcastle Knights vs Wests Tigers Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Friday 3rd August, 09:00 (UK)

Where? McDonald Jones Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Newcastle Knights vs Wests Tigers 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-movies-music/sports-offer

Are tickets still available?
http://www1.ticketmaster.com.au/newcastle-knights-v-wests-tigers-newcastle-new-south-wales-03-08-2018/event/1300543DC6108343?artistid=1109827&majorcatid=10004&minorcatid=695&tm_link=search_msg-0_1300543DC6108343

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

KNIGHTS

Head Coach: Nathan Brown

Starting 13: Ponga, Sio, Mata’utia, Denniss, Kenny-Dowall, Watson, Pearce, Ese’ese, Levi, D. Saifiti, Fitzgibbon, Barnett, Guerra – Interchanges: Buhrer, Heighington, King, Felise – Reserves: Meaney, Stone, Cogger, Yates

Unavailable: Tautau Moga, Jacob Saifiti, Slade Griffin, Nathan Ross, Jacob Lillyman

  • Newcastle couldn’t hang on against North Queensland despite a good first half performance. The Knights went into the break with a 12 point advantage but a scoreless second half for Newcastle saw them slip to a 20-18 loss.

  • Connor Watson returns at five-eighth after recovering from a slight groin injury. He comes in for Jack Cogger whilst Cory Denniss also comes into the side for Nathan Ross. JJ Felise will make his debut for the club from the bench with Jacob Lillyman out.

  • The Knights have conceded more points than any other team in the NRL this season. They could surpass 500 points allowed if they concede 12 points here with Newcastle conceding an average of 25.7 points per game.

TIGERS

Head Coach: Ivan Cleary

Starting 13: Mbye, Nofoaluma, Marsters, Naiqama, Thompson, Marshall, Brooks, Packer, Farah, Matulino, Chee Kam, Garner, Taylor – Interchanges: Twal, Sue, Rochow, Eisenhuth – Reserves: Liddle, McQueen, Godinet, Watene-Zelezniak

Unavailable: Mahe Fonua, Josh Reynolds, Chris Lawrence, Josh Aloiai

  • Wests Tigers couldn’t build on two superb performances against teams in the top 4 as they fell to a poor defeat against Canterbury. The Tigers were poor throughout and didn’t deserve the win as they went down 16-4.

  • Chris McQueen drops out with Robbie Rochow returning in the only change to last week’s team.

  • The Tigers missed a chance to close the gap on the top 8 to just two points and with time running out in the regular season, they can’t afford many – if any – more slip ups if they are to make the play-offs.

THE PREDICTION

The league’s most porous defence in Newcastle will host the team with the second worst attack, Wests Tigers. The Knights couldn’t make it three wins in a row last week when a late try for the Cowboys completed their comeback and all but ended the Knights’ slim play-off hopes. The Tigers’ play-off hopes were also dented as they turned in a turgid display against the Bulldogs, failing to build on brilliant back-to-back wins over the Dragons and Rabbitohs. Wests really need to win this but they seem to struggle when not playing the so-called bigger teams and the Knights can win their third home game in a row here.