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2021 NRL Round 12 Preview, Knights Vs Sea Eagles

Matt Attard previews the Sunday afternoon clash between Newcastle and Manly-Warringah. This is what we have to look forward to.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, Date: Sunday May 30, Time: 4:05pm

Knights Team

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

Team Changes

IN: Bradman Best
Jack Johns
Josh King
Kalyn Ponga


OUT: Blake Green

Sea Eagles Team

  1. Tom Trbojevic
  2. Jason Saab
  3. Brad Parker
  4. Morgan Harper
  5. Reuben Garrick
  6. Josh Schuster
  7. Daly Cherry-Evans
  8. Taniela Paseka
  9. Lachlan Croker
  10. Martin Taupau
  11. Karl Lawton
  12. Sean Keppie
  13. Jake Trbojevic
  14. Curtis Sironen
  15. Moses Suli
  16. Zac Saddler
  17. Toafofoa Sipley
  18. Ben Trbojevic
  19. Tevita Funa
  20. Christian Tuipulotu
  21. Jorge Taufua

Team Changes

IN: Ben Trbojevic
Curtis Sironen
Jorge Taufua
Tevita Funa


OUT:
Haumole Olakau’at

Referee: Ben Cummins

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Knights

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The wheels are falling off thanks to a string of injuries, coupled with under-performing players who should be standing up when it counts. They’ve failed to mount pressure and have lost games they really should have won.

Sea Eagles

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I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a turnaround in form from a team in the modern era. It’s amazing what one player can do to the confidence of everyone around him, but credit to you Tom Trbojevic. Since his return he’s nabbed five Man of the Match performances and has been the architect behind an incredible change of fortunes.

PREVIEW

It’s hard to predict how a game may play out when the new rules and interpretations leave everything up in the air? Who will slip up and be sent to the sin bin first? Will the Knights get a little bit of luck and perhaps play against nine or 10 men for a period of time?

Both sides were inconsistent to start the season, but Manly have taken off as late. Newcastle’s form leaves a lot to be desired and even at home this will be a big challenge for a Knights team missing a lot of personnel and down on confidence. Though they do welcome back Kalyn Ponga and Bradman Best.

KEY STAT

Their corresponding meeting last year resulted in a two-point win to the home side. Previous to that it was another two-point win to Newcastle at Lottoland. The Knights haven’t completed above 80 per cent for a month and their handling will have to be on song if they are to stand a chance.

For Manly, Tom Trbojevic has been insane. In six games this season he has 12 try assists, eight tries and has run for an average of 224 metres a game. He’s made 13 errors, but that’s only a testament to his high involvement.

PREDICTION

The Turbo train will keep on rolling towards the top four. Manly are benefiting from the faster game and they’ll be on the good end of set restarts again this week.

Manly by 24.

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