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NRL match preview: Newcastle Knights vs Gold Coast Titans

Date: Sunday July 20
Venue: Hunter Stadium
Kick-off: 2pm

Teams

Knights: Darius Boyd, James McManus, Joseph Leilua, Dane Gagai, Akuila Uate, Jarrod Mullen, Kurt Gidley, Kade Snowden, Adam Clydsdale, Willie Mason, Beau Scott, Robbie Rochow, Jeremy Smith. Interchange: Tyrone Roberts, Chris Houston, David Fa’alogo, Korbin Sims, Adam Cuthbertson

Titans: Kevin Gordon, Anthony Don, James Roberts, Brad Takairangi, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Maurice Blair, Daniel Mortimer, Luke Bailey, Beau Falloon, Nate Myles, Mark Minichiello, Dave Taylor, Paul Carter. Interchange: Matthew White, Luke Douglas, Tom Kingston, Albert Kelly, Mark Ioane 

Preview

#riseforAlex round reaches it’s highest emotional point of the weekend when Newcastle host Gold Coast at Hunter Stadium this Sunday.  Jersey number sixteen is retired in Alex McKinnon’s honor for this match.  Adam Cuthbertson is named as eighteenth man in an otherwise unchanged side from last weekend’s come from behind win against Cronulla.  Looking for a fourth win in a row, Newcastle’s fortunes have changed since Kurt Gidley has played at halfback.  A win here will keep their slim finals hopes alive and move them one step further away from the wooden spoon.

While Newcastle is on the rise, the Titans are in decline.  Having lost seven of it’s last eight matches, the Titans announced this week they are completing a review of the club’s operations both on and off the field.  Despite player support it appears John Cartwright’s future as coach is in grave doubt.  A heavy loss this weekend may be curtains for the Titans coach.  Making matters worse for the club is the loss of Will Zillman and David Mead through hamstring injuries.  Kevin Gordon will play at fullback and Anthony Don gets a call-up to play wing.  James Roberts is one to watch out wide with thirteen tries in his short twenty-game career.

Prediction

It’s hard to see anything but a Knights win to honor Alex McKinnon.  Knights by sixteen.

Editor of nothingbutleague since site inception in 2013. Massive Penrith Panthers fan (Member 13120). Email: mattpnbl@outlook.com

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