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Newcastle Knights NRL 2024 Predictions, Projections and Player Movement

Last updated: 10 Feb 2024
Jeremy Darke 10 Feb 2024
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  • Knights predicted to scrape into the finals in 8th spot.
  • Kalyn Ponga will once again be key to Newcastle's success.
  • Questions remain if the Knights overachieved at the backend of last season.
Kalyn Ponga
Newcastle's success will ride on the shoulders of 2023 Dally M Medalist Kalyn Ponga. (Photo by Scott Gardiner/Getty Images)

NRL 2024 Predictions, Projections and Player Movement: Newcastle Knights

Where they finish: 8th

The Knights success will all depend on if Kalyn Ponga is as lethal as he was at the backend of last season. If injury and/or representative footy gets in the way Newcastle will lose games. The teams with good defence will also find ways to limit the damage of Ponga, as we saw the Warriors do in the finals last season. 

What’s to like 

A fit Kalyn Ponga playing at fullback is a danger for any opposition and that was proven at the backend of 2023 with the Knights winning their final 9 regular season games and getting through week one of the finals, before getting dusted by New Zealand. It wasn’t just Ponga though, it had a lot to do with the Knights defence averaging just 11.5 points against in their final 9 games of the season.

The big out for Newcastle is Dominic Young, who scored 25 tries for them last season, however, Enari Tuala or Tom Jenkins can fill that spot and although they both may not have the aerial strike that Young has they will make up for it defensively.

There is plenty of excitement around Brits Kai Pearce-Paul and Will Pryce with the former expected to push his way into the side directly and make an impact in the back row, replacing Lachlan Fitzgibbon.

What’s NOT to like

Kalyn Ponga, Jayden Brailey and Jackson Hastings are a lock in the spine, however, Tyson Gamble was inconsistent at five-eight and is the weak link in the quartet. Gamble will get the first crack but Jack Cogger may move into the halves which can be unsettling under a period of the season when the call needs to be made.

Newcastle Knights Offseason Player Movement

Ins: Kai Pearce-Paul (Wigan Warriors), Will Pryce (Huddersfield Giants), Jack Cogger (Panthers), Jed Cartwright (Rabbitohs), Tom Jenkins (Panthers)

Outs: Dominic Young (Roosters), Lachlan Fitzgibbon (Warrington Wolves), Fa’amanu Brown (Hull FC), Kurt Mann (Bulldogs)

Newcastle Knights Predicted Starting 17

1. Kalyn Ponga
2. Enari Tuala
3. Dane Gagai
4. Bradman Best
5. Greg Marzhew
6. Tyson Gamble
7. Jackson Hastings
8. Daniel Saifiti
9. Jayden Brailey
10. Leo Thompson
11. Tyson Frizell
12. Kai Pearce-Paul
13. Adam Elliott

14. Phoenix Crossland
15. Jacob Saifiti
16. Jack Hetherington
17. Dylan Lucas

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