2020 NRL – Newcastle Knights vs New Zealand Warriors Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Newcastle Knights vs New Zealand Warriors taking place? Saturday 14th March, 2020 – 04:00 (UK)

Where is Newcastle Knights vs New Zealand Warriors taking place? McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

What is the expected weather for Newcastle Knights vs New Zealand Warriors? 20c with a high chance of rain as well as windy conditions

What channel is Newcastle Knights vs New Zealand Warriors 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 New Zealand Warriors? 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 New Zealand Warriors? Click here for ticket information on 2020 NRL matches

THE TEAM NEWS

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

Starting 13: Ponga, Lee, Tuala, Shibasaki, Hunt, Mann, Pearce, Klemmer, Brailey, D. Saifiti, Fitzgibbon, Barnett, Ese’ese – Interchanges: Watson, J. Saifiti, Glasby, Guerra – Reserves: Saulo, To’a

Unavailable: Tautau Moga (Match Fitness), Phoenix Crossland (Injured), Bradman Best (Injured), Sione Mata’utia (Injured)

  • Newcastle could not maintain a strong start to the season last time out and their poor performances at the back end of the year cost them a place in the finals, despite looking well-placed for the majority of the season.
  • All eyes will be on Mitchell Pearce once again this campaign after he silenced some of his doubters in 2019 but he will start the season with Kurt Mann alongside him in the halves with impressive youngster Phoenix Crossland sidelined with a pelvis injury.
  • The Knights will have a rookie head coach in charge this season after Adam O’Brien was handed the job at the expense of Nathan Brown and they will hope his influence can lead to a more consistent campaign this time around.

NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS

Starting 13: Tuivasa-Sheck, Herbert, Fusitu’a, Hiku, Maumalo, Harris-Tavita, Green, Ah Mau, Egan, Burr, Blair, Harris, Papali’i – Interchanges: Nikorima, Taunoa-Brown, Katoa, Lawton – Reserves: Vuniyayawa, Perham

Unavailable: Jackson Frei (Injured), Bunty Afoa (Injured), Nathaniel Roache (Injured), Josh Curran (Injured), Agnatius Paasi (Injured), Gerard Beale (Injured), Jazz Tevaga (Injured)

  • New Zealand Warriors will be under pressure from the off after another underwhelming season and the spotlight will be firmly on head coach Stephen Kearney who cannot afford a slow start to the season.
  • Kearney will be missing a host of players to injury in round 1 and there are also doubts surrounding the fitness of skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck but the fullback is expected to play in this season opener.
  • A quiet off-season saw just two low-key additions to the squad for the Warriors with both Wade Egan and Jamayne Taunua-Brown handed their debuts in this game although the latter will feature from the bench.

THE PREDICTION

These two teams both have plenty to prove in 2020 but for different reasons. Newcastle have put their faith in a new coach to begin the campaign and the Warriors may do the same if Stephen Kearney does not get off to a good start. He will be under pressure to perform but he already has a long list of players who are unavailable and in Adam O’Brien’s first NRL game as a head coach, he can guide the Knights to victory.

TSZ Latest