Joshua Knox previews the clash between the Newcastle Knights and the Melbourne Storm on Sunday afternoon. Here’s what we have to look forward to.
Newcastle Knights Vs Melbourne Storm
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
Date: Sunday May 1, 2:00pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Edrick Lee 3. Simi Sasagi 4. Bradman Best 5. Enari Tuala 6. Jake Clifford 7. Adam Clune 8. David Klemmer 9. Chris Randall 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Brodie Jones 13. Kurt Mann 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Leo Thompson 17. Sauaso Sue 18. Tex Hoy 19. Jack Johns 20. Brayden Musgrove 21. Pasami Saulo 22. Dylan Lucas 23. Jaron Purcell 24. Krystian Mapapalangi
Dane Gagai is out for a month with a facial injury and is replaced in the centres by Simi Sasagi. Sauaso Sue is the new name on the bench.Embed from Getty Images
Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Nick Meaney 3. Reimis Smith 4. Justin Olam 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harry Grant 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Josh King 14. Brandon Smith 15. Tyran Wishart 16. Trent Loiero 17. Tepai Moeroa 18. Chris Lewis 19. Marion Seve 20. Alec MacDonald 21. Jordan Grant 22. Jack Howarth 23. Bronson Garlick 24. Cooper Johns
Tyran Wishart joins the bench in the place of Chris Lewis, who joins the reserves, in the only change to Craig Bellamy’s side.
Referee: Liam Kennedy
The Knights come into this one off the back of a horrible performance against the Parramatta Eels – going down 39-2. It leaves Newcastle languishing in 14th position on the ladder with two wins and five losses and leaving them looking for answers. They turn their attention now to the high-flying Melbourne Storm and will be looking to avoid another hiding. The Knights have lost five on the trot after winning their opening two matches, leaving their fans frustrated at the standard of football they are dishing up. Kalyn Ponga needs to be the man to stand up for the Knights after inking a lucrative deal to be the face of the club for years to come.
Melbourne enter this clash on a high after their ANZAC Day thumping of the New Zealand Warriors (70-10). The Storm sit in second on the ladder with just the one loss through the opening seven rounds. Storm lock forward Josh King will be hoping to make his return to Newcastle a happy one after departing the club in the off-season – he has become a mainstay in Craig Bellamy’s run-on side. Ryan Papenhuyzen has been electric to start the season and currently sits alone atop the Dally M leaderboard after scoring two tries and assisting three in the last outing.
The battle of the fullbacks – who will more than likely face off come State of Origin time – is worth the admission price alone. Newcastle need to turn their season around while Melbourne will be looking to continue their flying form.Embed from Getty Images
The Storm have enjoyed a great winning record against the Knights (like they do against most clubs), winning 29 of the 44 clashes between the two sides. On top of that, the Storm haven’t tasted defeat against the Knights since 2015 with Melbourne recording 10 consecutive victories over Newcastle. In the last eight of those victories, the Storm have scored 26 or more points.
Storm by 22.
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