NRL match preview: Canterbury Bulldogs vs Newcastle Knights
Date: 26th April 2014 Venue: ANZ Stadium Kick-off: 7:30pm
Bulldogs: Sam Perrett, Corey Thompson, Josh Morris, Timoteo Lafai, Mitch Brown, Josh Reynolds, Trent Hodkinson, Aiden Tolman, Michael Ennis, James Graham, Josh Jackson, Tony Williams, Dale Finucane. Interchange: Greg Eastwood, David Klemmer, Tim Browne, Sam Kasiano, Moses Mbye, Pat O’Hanlon Knights: Darius Boyd, James McManus, Dane Gagai, Joey Leilua, Jake Mamo, Jarrod Mullen, Tyrone Roberts, Kade Snowden, Kurt Gidley (c), Zane Tetevano, Beau Scott, Chris Houston, Jeremy Smith. Interchange: Adam Clydsdale, Korbin Sims, Adam Cuthbertson, Robbie Rochow
The Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs will host the Newcastle Knights, and despite what Des Hasler may think, the Belmore side will be wearing the favourites tag.
The dogs made history last week by winning their third straight game by one point, their fourth straight win.
The Knights on the other hand have struggled for consistency, though have been improved the last couple of weeks following the return of five eight Jared Mullen, and put in a strong performance despite a lopsided score line in the loss to Brisbane last week.
The Bulldogs will be looking to improve their winning ways, and attempting to so earlier in the game, having built a habit of coming from behind to win late, a trend that must be taking years off the lives of their fans. And while they find themselves at the top of the table and facing a team that sits a lowly 14th, the Bulldogs will not be taking the Knights side lightly.
The Newcastle side will be hurting after only scoring once last week despite having numerous opportunities to cross the stripe, and will be looking to attack the edges of the Bulldogs from the boot of Mullen.
The Bulldogs forward pack will prove the difference between the two sides, the middle third of the field setting the platform for the Canterbury side in their five wins this season. The task of stopping the likes of James Graham and Aiden Tolman is made more difficult for the Knights due to the loss of Willie Mason, suspended for a shoulder charge.
With a rampant Forward back, the inform halves duo of Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds will have the space they need to call the shots in the back line, and create space for the outside men.
Until a team can manage the Bulldogs forwards, the Canterbury side will continue on their winning ways. The Knights are unlikely to have the muscle to do this.
Bulldogs by 10
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