The Newcastle Knights host Manly Sea Eagles at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday. The Knights are coming off a big win in Blake Green’s first game in charge, and are likely to keep improving as a result with Manly missing key players.
Knights Form & Team News
The Newcastle Knights are currently 6th on the NRL ladder after an inconsistent season. Adam O’Brien’s side recently lost 18-12 against the last placed Bulldogs before a 26-16 defeat against Melbourne Storm.
They bounced back in style, thumping Wests Tigers 44-4 at McDonald Jones Stadium. Blake Green made his first start for Newcastle at five eighth, steering the ship and forming combinations with Mitchell Pearce and Kaylen Ponga.
Newcastle still have a lengthy injury list with hookers Andrew McCullough, Connor Watson and Jayden Brailey out for the season.
Bradman Best underwent surgery on a syndesmosis injury on Tuesday and could return in the coming weeks.
Tim Glasby and Edrick Lee are still out with Sione Mata'utia expected back in round 18. Pasami Saulo returns from suspension next week.
Daniel Saifiti returns from injury at prop, pushing his brother Jacob to the bench. Brodie Jones dropping to the reserves.
Winger Starford To'a has been cleared to play after a COVID-19 breach.
The Knights team for Sunday is below:
1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Starford To'a 3. Enari Tuala 4. Gehamat Shibasaki 5. Hymel Hunt 6. Blake Green 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. David Klemmer 9. Kurt Mann 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Aidan Guerra 13. Mitchell Barnett 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Herman Ese'ese 17. Josh King 18. Tex Hoy 19. Brodie Jones 20. Chris Randall 21. Mason Lino
Sea Eagles Form & Team News
Manly Sea Eagles are on the outside looking in with seven games to play. Des Hasler’s side are currently 9th on the NRL ladder after losing five of their last seven games.
Manly beat the lowly Cowboys 24-12 before a heavy 42-12 defeat against the Panthers. The Sea Eagles fell to a 26-22 loss against the Warriors last week despite playing at home.
Manly prop Addin Fonua-Blake is set to miss a month after scans confirmed he suffered a high-grade PCL injury against the Warriors. He is a big loss.
Fellow prop Marty Taupau will be monitored after suffering a concussion.
Full back Tom Trbojevic is getting closer to a return with Dylan Walker set to come back in the coming weeks.
Centre Brad Parker and second rowers Curtis Sironen and Joel Thompson are back in the starting side. Taniela Paseka comes in for Addin Fonua-Blake at prop.
The Sea Eagles team for Sunday is below:
1. Brendan Elliot 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Brad Parker 4. Moses Suli 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Cade Cust 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Danny Levi 10. Martin Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Lachlan Croker 15. Corey Waddell 16. Sean Keppie 17. Haumole Olakau’atu 18. Morgan Boyle 19. Tevita Funa 20. Abbas Miski 21. Jack Gosiewski
Knights vs Sea Eagles Head to Head
Manly Sea Eagles have a 33-22 advantage against Newcastle Knights in 55 matches. Newcastle have won three of the last five including a 14-12 in Round 8 this season.
Knights vs Sea Eagles Odds
Newcastle Knights are 1.44 favourites at William Hill with Manly Sea Eagles priced at 3.50 at betfair. The handicap is currently set at 8 points.
Knights vs Sea Eagles Match Up
Newcastle have a much stronger set of playmakers in Kalyn Ponga, Blake Green and Mitchell Pearce. Manly have been struggling without Tom Trbojevic and Dylan Walker, forcing Daly Cherry-Evans to handle most of the playmaking responsibility.
The Knights also have an advantage at prop with Daniel Saifiti back in, Sea Eagles’ Addin Fonua-Blake out and Marty Taupau doubtful.
Knights vs Sea Eagles Stats
- Newcastle Knights won 44-4 last week.
- Newcastle Knights’ Kaylen Ponga scored 2 tries in his last game.
- Newcastle Knights have won 3 of their last 5 games against Manly Sea Eagles.
- Manly Sea Eagles have lost 5 of their last 7 games.