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NRL match preview: Sydney Roosters vs Newcastle Knights

Date: Saturday 14th June, 2014
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Kick-off: 7:30PM

Teams

Sydney Roosters: Anthony Minichiello, Nene MacDonald, Mitchell Aubusson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Sam Moa, Dylan Napa, Sonny Bill Williams, Frank-Paul Nuuausala. Interchange: Isaac Liu, Remi Casty, Kane Evans, Willis Meehan, Daniel Mortimer

Newcastle Knights: Jake Mamo, Josh Mantellato, Dane Gagai, James McManus, Akuila Uate, Jarrod Mullen, Tyrone Roberts, David Fa’alogo, Kurt Gidley, Willie Mason, Chris Houston, Robbie Rochow, Jeremy Smith. Interchange: Adam Clydsdale, Korbin Sims, Joseph Tapine, Clint Newton

Preview

The reining premiers are in ominous form, and the struggling Newcastle Knights look set to feel their wrath next when the two sides meet at Allianz Stadium on Saturday during round 14 of NRL action.

Blessed by their halves missing out on Origin selection, the Roosters seem certain to roll on this week, their forward pack dominating the middle, while their back line is firing.

The Knights on the other hand can’t catch a break, narrowly going down to the Tigers last start despite a half time lead and a late game surge.

Both sides have lost players to Origin for the clash. The Newcastle side see Darius Boyd and Beau Scott heading in to Origin camp, while the Sydney boys lose Aiden Guerra, Michael Jennings, and Daniel Tupou.

In a further blow to the travelling side, Newcastle are without Kade Snowden who has been hit with a two week suspension following two separate incidents against the Tigers.

It all points towards a tough night out for the Knights. The team has struggled to find points this season, with the second lowest attacking record so far in 2014.

The Roosters on the other hand lead the way in attack, and the alarm bells will be further ringing for Knights coach Wayne Bennett, as the Roosters are ranked fourth in defense.

The ability of the Roosters to score points quickly and from all parts of the field, the game threatens to be a blow out.

It is hard to see a way the Knights pack will be able to compete with the Roosters. If they can’t roll up the middle, too much room will be available to the Roosters lethal backline. As Melbourne winger Mahe Fonua found out last round, the likes of Roger Tuivasa Sheck don’t need a lot of room to move to find the try line.

Prediction

Roosters by 16

Sam Dasey studied a Bachelor of Sports Media at UC, graduating at the end of 2013. He has undertaken internships with Canberra Times and Touch Football Australia, as well as a local radio station in Canberra.

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