2020 NRL – North Queensland Cowboys vs Newcastle Knights Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When is North Queensland Cowboys vs Newcastle Knights taking place? Saturday 27th June, 2020 – 06:00 (UK)

Where is North Queensland Cowboys vs Newcastle Knights taking place? Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville

What is the expected weather for North Queensland Cowboys vs Newcastle Knights? 23c, partly cloudy

What channel is North Queensland Cowboys vs Newcastle Knights 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 North Queensland Cowboys vs Newcastle Knights? 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 North Queensland Cowboys vs Newcastle Knights? Click here for ticket information on 2020 NRL matches

THE TEAM NEWS

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS

Starting 13: Tabuai-Fidow, Feldt, O’Neill, Marsters, Opacic, Drinkwater, Clifford, McGuire, Robson, Molo, Hess, McLean, Taumalolo – Interchanges: Hampton, Cooper, Hola, Cotter – Reserves: Wright, Granville

Unavailable: Michael Morgan (Injured), John Asiata (Injured), Valentine Holmes (Injured), Tom Gilbert (Suspended), Mitchell Dunn (Injured), Connelly Lemuelu (Injured)

  • North Queensland Cowboys served up a diabolical first half performance against Wests Tigers last week and despite showing some character in the second half, the magnitude of their first half effort meant they were still comfortably beaten.
  • The Cowboys shipped 34 first half points in the horror show and although they managed to score 20 points in a second half response, it was nowhere near enough to make up for what took place earlier with North Queensland losing for the third game in a row.
  • They will need a huge turnaround to topple Newcastle Knights in this contest and will be boosted by the return of Jordan McLean who will line-up in the unfamiliar position of second row while Tom Opacic is named on the wing with Mitchell Dunn and Connelly Lemuelu both ruled out with injuries.

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

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

Unavailable: Mitch Barnett (Injured), Jayden Brailey (Injured), Connor Watson (Injured), Bradman Best (Quarantined)

  • Newcastle Knights produced a professional display to overcome Brisbane Broncos last week with the Knights showing their quality on both sides of the ball with the only points they allowed coming from an Andrew McCullough intercept.
  • The Knights dictated play for large periods and thanks to an 84% completion rate, they were able to spend over eight minutes more in possession than the Broncos while they made huge metres through the middle with 2,159 outstripping their opponents’ effort of 1,544.
  • Despite last week’s win, the Knights have suffered a blow ahead of this contest with gun centre Bradman Best forced to miss out because of breaching COVID-19 protocols with his place taken by Enari Tuala.

THE PREDICTION

Paul Green’s future as the head coach of North Queensland Cowboys has come under scrutiny this week following his side’s abysmal first half showing against Wests Tigers. The pressure is mounting and another loss this week could prove to be the final straw. The Knights have started the campaign in fine form and having suffered just a solitary defeat, they should be too good for the hosts with Newcastle able to win by at least six points.

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