2023 NRL Preview Round 12: Sharks Vs Knights

Mathew Williams takes a look at this Coffs Harbour clash between the Sharks and the Knights as two superstars of the game push their Origin selection case.



Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks Vs Newcastle Knights
Coffs Harbour International Stadium
Date: Saturday May 20, 3PM


Sharks: 1. William Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Connor Tracey 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Oregon Kaufusi 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Royce Hunt 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Dale Finucane 14. Braydon Trindall 15. Jack Williams 16. Wade Graham 17. Thomas Hazelton 18. Daniel Atkinson 19. Mawene Hiroti 20. Braden Hamlin-Uele 21. Jesse Colquhoun 22. Jayden Berrell

Knights: 1. Lachlan Miller 2. Dominic Young 3. Dane Gagai 4. Bradman Best 5. Greg Marzhew 6. Kalyn Ponga 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Phoenix Crossland 10. Jack Hetherington 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Leo Thompson 14. Tyson Gamble 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Adam Elliott 17. Mathew Croker 18. Jack Johns 19. Enari Tuala 20. Adam Clune 21. Hymel Hunt 22. Simi Sasagi

Referee: Liam Kennedy

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The Sharks and Knights are both coming off the back of last start wins and aim to continue this trend as the two sides travel up to Coffs Harbour to go head-to-head. A win for the Sharks will see them further entrench themselves in the top four while if the Knights are able to overcome the favourites they could see themselves knocking on the door of the top eight.

The Sharks held on in a close affair against Manly in which they held of the fast finishing home side to walk away with a 20-14 victory. Sharks second rower Briton Nikora has been in fantastic touch in recent weeks, damaging with the ball in hand and dominant defensively without it. He will no doubt bring the same level of effort into this clash and could cause all sorts of headaches for the Knights edge defence.

Fresh off the bye the week before and all of the scrutiny that came with it, the Knights played some scintillating football in a second half blitz that saw them run in 6 tries against the Titans on the way to a 20-point win on the back of some very impressive performances from the outside backs. With three players in this backline featuring in the top ten in the league for tackle breaks, solid first contact and getting numbers in tackles will be required to stop the likes of Miller, Marzhew and Gagai from wreaking havoc once again.

Key Matchup: Hynes V Ponga

Both of these players are doing everything they can to press their claims for an Origin Jersey, with Hynes trying to claim his first and Ponga trying to fend off the challenge from some incredible form from Reece Walsh. A strong showing here by either player could go a long way to securing that spot for the first game on May 31 and look for both players to go out and show everything they bring to the table in their bid for the coveted jersey.


Sharks 6, Knights 4


Sharks by 12

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