2021 NRL Round Eight Preview, Knights Vs Roosters

Josh Mercer previews the round eight clash between the Newcastle Knights and the Sydney Roosters. This is what we have to look forward to.

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Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Date: Saturday, 1st of May, Time: 7:35 pm

Knights Team

1. Kalyn Ponga
2. Starford To’a
3. Enari Tuala
4. Bradman Best
5. Brayden Musgrove
6. Kurt Mann
7. Blake Green
8. David Klemmer
9. Jayden Brailey
10. Daniel Saifiti
11. Tyson Frizell
12. Mitchell Barnett
13. Connor Watson
14. Sauaso Sue
15. Jacob Saifiti
16. Josh King
17. Brodie Jones
18. Pasami Saulo
19. Phoenix Crossland
20. Lachlan Fitzgibbon
21. Tex Hoy

Team Changes

IN: Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Pasami Saulo, Phoenix Crossland, Tex Hoy.
OUT: Gehamat Shibasaki.

Roosters Team

1. James Tedesco
2. Daniel Tupou
3. Josh Morris
4. Joseph Manu
5. Brett Morris
6. Drew Hutchison
7. Sam Walker
8. Isaac Liu
9. Sam Verrills
10. Lindsay Collins
11. Angus Crichton
12. Sitili Tupouniua
13. Victor Radley
14. Benjamin Marschke
15. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
16. Nat Butcher
17. Siosiua Taukeiaho
18. Fletcher Baker
19. Matt Ikuvalu
20. Egan Butcher
21. Joseph Suaalii

Team Changes

IN: Egan Butcher, Joseph Suaalii, Siosiua Taukeiaho.

Referee: Matt Cecchin



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The Knights had the unfortunate task of taking on the red-hot Panthers last weekend: while it wasn’t all doom and gloom, they were unable to get the win. Kurt Mann was one of the best for the Knights as he set-up their only try after breaking through the Panthers’ defence. Starford To’a, who finished off the try after the initial break from Mann, showed that he has some speed and also a nice fend after giving Dylan Edwards a nice ‘don’t argue’ to get across the tryline.


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The Roosters were able to get back in the winners circle last week, defeating the Dragons in the annual ANZAC Day clash. The Dragons were able to get on the board early in the game – after having the a try disallowed – to lead 6-0. After conceding the the first try, the Roosters went on to score the next 34 points with the Dragons getting a consolation try at the end of the game. Sam Walker had another great game and proves that he may be the Roosters’ long-term number seven.


The Knights look like they are starting to get some troops back, with Lachlan Fitzgibbon and Tex Hoy both named in the squad; this may be the confidence boost the Knights need to start winning again. Mann keeps impressing at five-eight, a position that suits him well and should never be moved from.

The Roosters will be going into this game with confidence after last week’s win. Walker has been having a great season so far and he should have another good game this week. Sam Verrills returned last week and got through the game unscathed; having him back at hooker is a big bonus for the Roosters after Jake Friend retired.


Thought they are sitting five places behind the Roosters on the ladder, the 10th placed Knights have a better completion rate than the Roosters with 80% to the Roosters 77%.


Roosters by 10. 

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