The Newcastle Knights will host the the Penrith Panthers at their home ground on Sunday afternoon at McDonald Jones Stadium, kick off 2pm.

The Newcastle Knights have named Jacob Saifiti who has been cleared of a neck injury, after being unable to finish last week’s game against the Raiders. Both Josh Starling and Sam Stone will return after being named in Nathan Brown’s starting line-up.

The Penrith Panthers will be without second-rower James Fisher-Harris who is out due to a hamstring strain.

LAST TIME OUT

Last time these two teams went head to head this season was in round 4, where the Panthers dominated and defeated the Knights 40- nil.

The Newcastle Knights are coming off a 34-20 victory against the Canberra Raiders last week. The Knights scored a total of six tries with Brock Lamb successfully kicking five of the six conversions. The win was secured in this high scoring match as the Knights put on four tries in the second half. The Knights maintained their half-time lead after displaying a strong defensive performance as they kept the Raiders to only three tries. The Knights will be looking to demonstrate the same determination as last week against the Panthers in front of a home crowd on Sunday afternoon.

The Penrith Panthers are also coming off a dominant win against the New Zealand Warriors, defeating them 36-28, despite being down at half-time. Nathan Cleary played a huge role for his side after successfully kicking all six conversions and captain Matt Moylan also stepped up for his team, scoring a try and running 209 metres in total. Winger Dallin Watene Zelezniak and Centre Waqa Blake both made two line breaks to assist their side to victory. With every Panther stepping up and performing their role, the Panthers will be looking to repeat their efforts against the Knights.

KEY BATTLE

The key battle will be between wingers Nathan Ross (Knights) and Dallin Watene Zelezniak Panthers.

Nathan Ross had a huge impact last week, contributing a try, a line-break and total of 139 metres. He plays a vital role for the Knights and will be looking to impress again against the Panthers.

Dallin Watene Zelezniak also had a huge impact for the Panther’s last week after scoring a try in the 53rd minute and making two line breaks.

PREDICTION

With both sides heading into the clash confident after their victories last week, the Panthers will have a difficult task defeating the Knights at their home ground.

Although the Panthers will be up for the challenge, the Knights passion and determination they displayed last week, I predict the Knights by 6.

 

SQUADS

Newcastle Knights: 1. Dane Gagai 2. Ken Sio 3. Joe Wardle 4. Peter Mata’utia 5. Nathan Ross 6. Brock Lamb 7. Jaelen Feeney 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Danny Levi 10. Josh Starling 11. Sione Mata’utia 12. Sam Stone 13. Josh King 14. Luke Yates 15. Anthony Tupou 16. Mitchell Barnett 17. Jacob Saifiti 18. Brendan Elliott 19. Tyler Randell 20. Trent Hodkinson 21. Jack Stockwell

Penrith Panthers: 1. Matt Moylan 2. Peta Hiku 3. Dean Whare 4. Waqa Blake 5. Dallin Watene Zelezniak 6. Bryce Cartwright 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9. Peter Wallace 10. Regan Campbell-Gillard 11. Corey Harawira 12. Isaah Yeo 13. Trent Merrin 14. Tyrone Peachey 15. Leilani Latu 16. Tim Browne 17. Viliame Kikau 18. Moses Leota 19. Sitaleki Akauola 20. Mitch Rein 21. Te Maire Martin