Saturday afternoon’s battle at Redcliffe will see the 12th placed Warriors take on 15th placed Knights.
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Warriors: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Viliami Vailea 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Ben Murdoch-Masila 9. Freddy Lussick 10. Jazz Tevaga 11. Euan Aitken 12. Tohu Harris 13. Jack Murchie 14. Taniela Otukolo 15. Aaron Pene 16. Bunty Afoa 17. Eliesa Katoa 18. Jesse Arthars 20. Rocco Berry 21. Dunamis Lui 22. Daejarn Asi 23. Pride Petterson-Robati 24. Ronald Volkman 25. Jackson Frei
The New Zealand Warriors welcome back Chanel Harris-Tavita to the starting line-up in a week where the 23-year-old announced he’d leave the game at season’s end. Addin Fonua-Blake is out for a month with a minor Lisfranc injury which will see Jazz Tevaga move to prop. Freddy Lussick has been named to start at hooker.Embed from Getty Images
Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Edrick Lee 3. Dane Gagai 4. Enari Tuala 5. Dominic Young 6. Anthony Milford 7. Jake Clifford 8. David Klemmer 9. Chris Randall 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Mitchell Barnett 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Leo Thompson 17. Mathew Croker 18. Simi Sasagi 19. Brodie Jones 20. Tex Hoy 21. Sauaso Sue 22. Pasami Saulo 23. Krystian Mapapalangi 24. Brayden Musgrove
Newcastle Knights have lost Bradman Best for the next month with elbow ligament damage and has been replaced by Enari Tuala in the starting side. Jake Clifford returns to the side at the expense of Adam Clune.
Referee: Peter Gough
New Zealand Warriors will go into this game against the Newcastle Knights at Moreton Daily Stadium as favourites.
Despite having just one win in the past month which came at the expense of the Raiders at Redcliffe in round 8, they went close to pulling off a miracle victory in Magic Round against the Rabbitohs and led 18-12 before going down by six to the Dragons at Jubilee Oval last Saturday.
Their opponents the Knights haven’t troubled too many teams in 2022 and look unlikely to contest for the finals series on their recent efforts including beltings against the Eels, Storm, Cowboys, and the Broncos where they didn’t have any calls go their way.
This week has been unsettling for the Warriors with the announcement that Chanel Harris-Tavita will finish with the game at the end of the season, Euan Aitken agreeing to terms with the new Dolphins franchise and footage that Matt Lodge played second grade Brisbane rugby this week.
It’s not to say the Knights have their problems either. Their lack of confidence in attack and poor goal line defence has seen them slide to 15th place with the second least points in attack, scoring at just over 12 points a game. They’ll limp into a much-needed bye week looking to regroup before their match with the Panthers on Sunday week.
The fun fact about this game is that both sides have the worst (Warriors, 287 points) and second worst (Knights, 284 points) which would indicate a high scoring affair. This will encourage the fullbacks Reece Walsh and Kalyn Ponga on the eve of Queensland Origin selection. Another former Maroons candidate in Dane Gagai could confirm his place in game 1 with a strong match after returning last week from injury.
It would be some kind of feat if the Warriors had a third consecutive golden point game at Moreton Daily Stadium after Shaun Johnson got his side home ironically in the 82nd minute against the Cowboys and Raiders.
However, you get the feeling that if they get well ahead in the contest that the white flag might be flown by the Knights.Embed from Getty Images
The Warriors are undefeated at Redcliffe’s Moreton Daily Stadium. They beat the Bulldogs (24-10) in their Round 22 clash last season. They are three from three at their temporary “home” base this year with an impressive win over Brisbane Broncos (20-6), followed by one-point victories over the North Queensland Cowboys and Canberra Raiders. A win here would keep them in touch with the top eight at the halfway mark.
Warriors by 12.
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