2020 NRL – Newcastle Knights vs Wests Tigers Preview & Prediction

Select the sports you want to hear about and TSZ will send the best previews, analysis and predictions straight to your inbox. Sign up today!

THE FACTS

When is Newcastle Knights vs Wests Tigers taking place? Saturday 8th August, 2020 – 08:30 (UK)

Where is Newcastle Knights vs Wests Tigers taking place? McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

What is the expected weather for Newcastle Knights vs Wests Tigers? 15c, partly cloudy

What channel is Newcastle Knights vs Wests Tigers 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 Wests Tigers? 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 Wests Tigers? Click here for ticket information on 2020 NRL matches

THE TEAM NEWS

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

Starting 13: Ponga, To’a, Tuala, Shibasaki, Hunt, Green, Pearce, Klemmer, Mann, J. Saifiti, Fitzgibbon, Guerra, Barnett – Interchanges: Crossland, King, Ese’ese, Jones – Reserves: Hoy, Momoisea

Unavailable: Jayden Brailey (Injured), Tim Glasby (Injured), Edrick Lee (Injured), Daniel Saifiti (Injured), Andrew McCullough (Injured), Connor Watson (Injured), Sione Mata’utia (Injured), Bradman Best (Injured), Pasami Saulo (Suspended)

  • Newcastle Knights were outplayed for large spells in their game with Melbourne Storm last week and they paid the price for some poor execution with the ball as well as some lacklustre defence which saw them suffer a second straight loss.
  • The Knights’ place in the top eight is now under severe threat and they must find a way to be more creative but that will only happen if their forwards can lay a platform with Newcastle managing just 1,670 metres last week with the Storm making more off less runs.
  • Adam O’Brien has made big changes to his three-quarter line with Bradman Best out injured and Tautau Moga dropped so Enari Tuala shifts to centre with Gehamat Shibasaki and Starford To’a coming into the line-up while Kurt Mann will start at hooker so allow new signing Blake Green to slot into the halves.

WESTS TIGERS

Starting 13: Doueihi, Nofoaluma, J. Leilua, Talau, Kepaoa, Brooks, Marshall, Aloiai, Mbye, Packer, L. Leilua, McIntyre, Eisenhuth – Interchanges: Mikaele, Blore, Lawrence, Walters – Reserves: Seyfarth, Garner

Unavailable: Jacob Liddle (Injured), Zane Musgrove (Injured), Michael Chee-Kam (Injured), Alex Twal (Injured), Harry Grant (Injured)

  • Wests Tigers served up a terrible performance as they blew a six-point half-time lead against New Zealand Warriors to succumb to a second consecutive loss which and their hopes of making the finals already look to be in the balance with a tough schedule to come.
  • The Tigers allowed 18 unanswered points in the second half before closing the gap to six but they could not get themselves back into the contest in the closing stages as they went down 20-26 after Wests were bullied through the middle with the Warriors making over 350m more than they could manage.
  • To make matters worse for the Tigers, they must now cope without Harry Grant with their star man ruled out for a month so Moses Mbye slots into the unfamiliar hooking role and Alex Twal is also out with a sternum injury so Matt Eisenhuth starts at lock while Luke Brooks is recalled to the starting side.

THE PREDICTION

Newcastle Knights and Wests Tigers come into this contest with severely weakened teams and they do so on the back of losing their last two matches. This could be a real war of attrition with both teams fielding players at hooker who are not suited to the position and whoever copes best with that role may ensure their side comes out on top. Neither side have played as well as they have shown they can in their recent games but the Knights could be boosted by a new face in the halves after Blake Green arrived from New Zealand Warriors and with Wests’ star man Harry Grant absent on the other side, Newcastle should have enough to earn the win on home soil although it is likely to be a hard watch.

TSZ Latest