2020 NRL – Newcastle Knights vs Melbourne Storm Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When is Newcastle Knights vs Melbourne Storm taking place? Saturday 13th June, 2020 – 08:30 (UK)

Where is Newcastle Knights vs Melbourne Storm taking place? Central Coast Stadium, Central Coast

What is the expected weather for Newcastle Knights vs Melbourne Storm? 17c, cloudy

What channel is Newcastle Knights vs Melbourne Storm on? Sky Sports Arena will be televising selected NRL games in the UK and you can find their schedule here. For Australian broadcasters, you can find a list here

Where can I stream Newcastle Knights vs Melbourne Storm? If televised on Sky Sports, then subscribers will be able to stream the match live via Sky Go. Alternatively, the match will be available to subscribers of Watch NRL

Where can I get tickets for Newcastle Knights vs Melbourne Storm? Click here for ticket information on 2020 NRL matches

THE TEAM NEWS

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

Starting 13: Ponga, Lee, Tuala, Best, Hunt, Mann, Pearce, Klemmer, McCullough, D. Saifiti, Guerra, Mata’utia, Ese’ese – Interchanges: Hoy, J. Saifiti, Glasby, Jones – Reserves: Moga, Crossland

Unavailable: Mitch Barnett (Injured), Jayden Brailey (Injured), Connor Watson (Injured, Lachlan Fitzgibbon (Injured)

  • Newcastle Knights have enjoyed a strong start to the new season and they laid down a huge marker as they put in a brilliant performance to beat last year’s beaten Grand Finalists Canberra Raiders to maintain their unbeaten record.
  • The Knights were superb on both sides of the ball and did well to deal with a fightback from the Raiders as they saw the game out effectively to run out 18-34 winners with their 84% completion rate aiding their ability to rack up the metres which totalled 2,065 from 200 runs.
  • The return of Kalyn Ponga from a one-match ban allowed him to link-up with Mitchell Pearce and that pairing are going to be crucial here, especially if Kurt Mann fails to overcome an ankle injury with Phoenix Crossland waiting in the wings if the five-eighth does not make it.

MELBOURNE STORM

Starting 13: Papenhuyzen, Vunivalu, Olam, Lee, Addo-Carr, Munster, Jacks, J. Bromwich, C. Smith, Welch, Kaufusi, K. Bromwich, Finucane – Interchanges: B. Smith, Faasuamaleaui, King, Asofa-Solomona – Reserves: Eisenhuth, Seve

Unavailable: Tui Kamikamica (Injured), Sandor Earl (Injured), Jahrome Hughes (Injured)

  • Melbourne Storm were again far from their best but did what was required to see off South Sydney Rabbitohs last week and it was their ability to repel a couple of long spells of sustained pressure on their own line which helped them to the two competition points.
  • The Storm made plenty of mistakes in the contest which has been the theme of their season to date and the 13 in the game with the Rabbitohs took their total to 52, the joint-highest in the competition along with Canterbury Bulldogs ahead of the start of the Round 5 fixtures.
  • Despite the victory, Melbourne suffered an injury blow last week with halfback Jahrome Hughes picking up a broken hand with Ryley Jacks named to replace him while in more positive news, giant prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona returns on the bench from a one-game ban.

THE PREDICTION

Newcastle Knights were impressive last week as they continued their strong early season form by beating Canberra Raiders but will feel this is a real acid for their aspirations this year. They face Melbourne Storm who are yet to really click into gear so far but they still pose a big test. They will have a new halfback in place for this game and although that could actually turn out to be a positive for the Storm, Adam O’Brien’s Knights can really announce themselves as Premiership contenders by extending their unbeaten run and claiming the upset win here.

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