2020 NRL – Penrith Panthers vs Newcastle Knights Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Penrith Panthers vs Newcastle Knights taking place? Sunday 31st May, 2020 – 07:05 (UK)

Where is Penrith Panthers vs Newcastle Knights taking place? Campbelltown Stadium, Sydney

What is the expected weather for Penrith Panthers vs Newcastle Knights? 18c, clear skies

What channel is Penrith Panthers 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 Penrith Panthers 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 Penrith Panthers vs Newcastle Knights? No tickets are available as NRL matches are currently taking place behind closed doors

THE TEAM NEWS

PENRITH PANTHERS

Starting 13: Aekins, Mansour, Whare, Naden, To’o, Burton, Luai, Tamou, Koroisau, Fisher-Harris, Kikau, Capewell, Yeo – Interchanges: Crichton, Tetevano, Leota, Martin – Reserves: Kenny, Burns, Ellis, Staines

Unavailable: Dylan Edwards (Injured), Jack Hetherington (Suspended), Spencer Leniu (Injured), Nathan Cleary (Suspended), Tyrone May (Suspended)

  • Penrith Panthers needed to dig deep to come from behind to beat St. George Illawarra Dragons in their Round 2 game but by doing so, they come into this contest with two wins from two as they get their season back underway.
  • The Panthers may find it tough going after they were hit by the suspension of key half Nathan Cleary after he broke lockdown rules which was viewed dimly by the NRL and resulted in a two-game ban.
  • Matt Burton comes into the side and will partner Jarome Luai in the halves while the extended break has been a welcome one for Kurt Capewell who has overcome a quad injury which will see him make his debut for the Panthers.

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

Starting 13: Hoy, Lee, Tuala, Shibasaki, Hunt, Mann, Pearce, Klemmer, Watson, D. Saifiti, Fitzgibbon, Mata’utia, Ese’ese – Interchanges: Randall, J. Saifiti, Glasby, Guerra – Reserves: Best, Jones, Lino, Saulo

Unavailable: Phoenix Crossland (Injured), Kalyn Ponga (Suspended), Mitch Barnett (Injured), Jayden Brailey (Injured)

  • Newcastle Knights produced a brilliant attacking display as they racked up a big score against Wests Tigers in their final game before the league was halted and they come into this game with a 100% record having won both games so far.
  • The Knights were able to post 42 points but they will be missing a key attacking cog in this contest after fullback Kalyn Ponga was handed a one-game ban for a shoulder charge in that contest against the Tigers.
  • Tex Hoy will replace Ponga while Connor Watson comes in at hooker for the injured Jayden Brailey who is out long-term with a knee injury but there is no place for new signing Andrew McCullough following his arrival from Brisbane Broncos.

THE PREDICTION

Both Penrith Panthers and Newcastle Knights come into this game with two wins from two so far this season but the pair are missing a key player apiece. Nathan Cleary is absent for the Panthers while Kalyn Ponga is unavailable for the Knights and their replacements will have plenty of pressure to perform. Both teams are capable of scoring points having scored a combined 114 from their opening contests of the campaign and this one could well turn into a shootout that sees at least 44 points.

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