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17 Aug 2018 by Ash Wheldon

2018 NRL – Penrith Panthers vs Newcastle Knights Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Saturday 18th August, 06:00 (UK)

Where? Panthers Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Penrith Panthers vs Newcastle Knights 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://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/Show.aspx?sh=PAN2318

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

PANTHERS

Head Coach: Cameron Ciraldo

Starting 13: Peachey, Mansour, Blake, Whare, Watene-Zelezniak, May, Cleary, Tamou, Katoa, Campbell-Gillard, Kikau, Yeo, Ellis – Interchanges: Egan, Merrin, Harawira-Naera, Leota – Reserves: Crichton, Martin

Unavailable: Sam McKendry, Dylan Edwards, Jarome Luai, James Maloney, Jack Hetherington, James Fisher-Harris

  • Interim head coach Cameron Ciraldo earned a win in his first game in charge as the Panthers scored a golden point win over Gold Coast last week. Penrith needed two late tries to level the scores before Nathan Cleary’s drop goal sealed a 16-17 win.

  • James Maloney could be out for a significant part of the rest of the season with a knee injury whilst Jack Hetherington is out with a suspension. Tyrone May comes into the side in at five-eighth and James Tamou is back from injury to start in the front row. James Fisher-Harris has pulled out having been named at lock so Kaide Ellis takes his place.

  • Last week’s win was the third in a row for Penrith and also the third time they’ve needed to score tries in the final ten minutes to mount a successful comeback and claim the win.

KNIGHTS

Head Coach: Nathan Brown

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

Unavailable: Tautau Moga, Jacob Saifiti, Slade Griffin, Nathan Ross, Jacob Lillyman, Connor Watson, JJ Felise

  • Newcastle went ahead in the early stages against New Zealand Warriors last week but their 11th minute try was the only time they crossed the whitewash as the Warriors hit back with three of their own to condemn the Knights to a 20-4 loss.

  • Nathan Brown has named an unchanged side with Kalyn Ponga named at fullback despite rumours he may be rested to help him overcome a lingering ankle problem.

  • Newcastle have now lost three games on the spin and although they should avoid the wooden spoon, they could yet get sucked into the battle at the bottom.

THE PREDICTION

Penrith are developing a reputation of leaving things late to earn wins as they won their third game on the trot. It was also the third consecutive game that they have needed late points to get themselves back in the contest with last week seeing them win the game in golden point against Gold Coast. The Knights on the other hand were kept pointless for 69 minutes against the Warriors with their season fizzling out. The Panthers managed to jump back into the top 4 with last week’s win and another win is on the cards here although they’ll want to get the job done earlier this week.

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