It’s the game that will close out the round, with the Bulldogs hosting the Knights at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday afternoon. Both sides have struggled this season, the Knights more so than the Bulldogs, however in the absence of Origin players from the home side, it will be an interesting game to watch.

Last Time Out

The Bulldogs lost to the Parramatta Eels on Thursday night in a controversial golden point thriller at ANZ Stadium, that went the way of the Eels after a rare golden point penalty was awarded, that allowed them go gain easy field position, where Mitchell Moses slotted a field goal in the eighty-first minute. Statistically it was a fairly even game, with the completion and possession rates similar, and of course the fact that both sides scored two converted tries. The areas in both attack and defence that differed were more so in favour of the Bulldogs, who made more running metres in more runs. It was a strong match from both sides, and the Eels were lucky to get away with the win. It was a controversial call that won the Eels the match, and Bulldogs coach Des Hasler believed that the referee awarded an unnecessary penalty that allowed them to win the match.

The match titled the battle of the wooden spoon took place last Sunday afternoon, when the Knights hosted the Tigers at McDonald Jones Stadium. Both sides have been struggling all season, and this was considered the decider last weekend. The visiting Tigers were the ones who ran away with the win, and with the two competition points that swept them off the bottom of the ladder, and up to fifteenth. The Tigers were dominant from the beginning, and didn’t allow the Knights many opportunities to capitalise and potentially come back. The Knights were poor, and completed at quite a low rate, which didn’t allow for many chances. They are currently at the bottom of the ladder once again, however will be looking for redemption and hoping to find themselves higher by the end of the season.

Key Battle

Hodkinson and Reynolds; the number six for both sides. Both have been great for their clubs, and Reynolds will be looking for a nice send off, as it is his final match at Belmore Sports Ground for the club before moving for the commencement of the 2018 season. Hodkinson has been one of the Knights’ best, especially this season, and will be looking to bring his team to victory.

Prediction

Both sides will be looking for a win, and both for different reasons. It will be an interesting match to watch, however despite the missing Origin players for both sides, the Bulldogs will be the ones who claim victory on Sunday afternoon in front of their passionate fans at Belmore. Bulldogs by 12.

Squads

Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs

1. William Hopoate 2. Kerrod Holland 3. Josh Morris 4. Chase Stanley 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Josh Ryenolds 7. Moses Mbye 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Michael Lichaa 10. Danny Fualalo 11. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 12. Adam Elliot 13. Sam Kasiano 14. Sam Kasiano 15. Francis Tualau 16. Asipeli Fine 17. Andy Saunders 20. Renouf Toomaga 21. Brad Abbey 22. Rod Griffin. 23. Brenko Lee

Newcastle Knights

1. Nathan Ross 2. Chanel Mata’utia 3. Joe Wardle 4. Peter Mata’utia 5. Brendan Elliott 6. Trent Hodkinson 7. Jaelen Feeney 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Danny Levi 10. Josh King 11. Sione Mata’utia 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Mitchell Barnett 14. Jamie Buhrer 15. Luke Yates 16. Sam Stone 17. Jacob Saifiti 18. Brock Lamb 19. Jacob Gagan 20. Tyler Randell 21. Mickey Paea