2019 NRL – Newcastle Knights vs Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Newcastle Knights vs Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks taking place? Friday 15th March, 07:00

Where is Newcastle Knights vs Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks taking place? McDonald Jones Stadium

What channel is Newcastle Knights vs Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks on?
UK – This match will not be televised live in the UK
Australia – Fox Sports

Where can I stream Newcastle Knights vs Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks?
UK – N/A
Australia – https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer

Where can I get tickets for Newcastle Knights vs Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks?
Newcastle Knights – https://tickets.nrl.com/team/500003

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks – https://tickets.nrl.com/team/500028

THE TEAM NEWS

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

Head Coach: Nathan Brown

Starting 13: Watson, Lee, Hunt, Ramien, Kenny-Dowall, Ponga, Pearce, Klemmer, Levi, Gavet, Fitzgibbon, Mata’utia, Glasby – Interchanges: Mann, Guerra, Barnett, D. Saifiti – Reserves: Buhrer, Ese’ese, King, Jones

Unavailable: Slade Griffin, Tautau Moga, Nathan Ross, Jacob Saifiti, Mason Lino

  • Newcastle Knights will be looking to build upon their huge improvement last season with a top 8 finish being the goal this year and Nathan Brown’s men could well achieve that feat if their new look halfback pairing clicks.

  • Kalyn Ponga will be the key man as he switches to the halves with his partnership with Mitchell Pearce vital to the chances of the Knights but some pundits don’t believe that Ponga should have moved from the fullback position just yet.

  • David Klemmer was the big name arrival in the off-season and he will look to give the Knights pack a boost as he looks to cement his reputation as one of the best props in the world.

CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS

Head Coach: John Morris

Starting 13: Moylan, Feki, Dugan, Morris, Katoa, Johnson, Townsend, Fifita, J. Brailey, Prior, Nikora, Capewell, Gallen – Interchanges: B. Brailey, Bukuya, Woods, Williams – Reserves: Sorensen, Flanagan, Xerri, Hamlin-Uele

Unavailable: Wade Graham, Ava Seumanufagai

  • Cronulla were blighted by salary cap drama again in the off-season which saw head coach Shane Flanagan de-registered by the NRL with the Sharks hoping to quickly put their off-field troubles behind them.

  • Former Sharks player John Morris will take the reins as head coach with halfback Shaun Johnson their big off-season signing after he arrived from New Zealand Warriors which will push Matt Moylan back to fullback.

  • The Sharks will be without James Segeyaro after he fell foul of the salary cap problems and although he may well end up being able to play for Cronulla, he will be forced to sit out for the time being.

THE PREDICTION

Newcastle made huge strides last season as they ended their run of finishing bottom of the ladder by avoiding the wooden spoon in 2018. They will now hope Kalyn Ponga and Mitchell Pearce can guide them to the play-offs and will look to kick off their 2019 with a win. They host Cronulla with the Sharks needing to contend with off-field problems whilst they have a rookie coach at the helm in John Morris but he could be in for a tough start as the Knights can claim the win on home soil.