2024 NRL: Round 7 Preview, Bulldogs Vs Knights

Check out the match preview and prediction for the round 7 clash between the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the Newcastle Knights.



Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Vs Newcastle Knights
Venue: Accor Stadium, Sydney
Date: Sunday April 21, 2:00pm


Bulldogs: 1. Stephen Crichton 2. Connor Tracey 3. Jacob Kiraz 4. Bronson Xerri 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Drew Hutchison 8. Max King 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Chris Patolo 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Josh Curran 13. Jaeman Salmon 14. Bailey Hayward 15. Poasa Faamausili 16. Kurtis Morrin 17. Blake Taaffe 19. Toby Sexton 20. Liam Knight 21. Jake Turpin 22. Jeral Skelton 23. Harry Hayes

Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Greg Marzhew 3. Dane Gagai 4. Bradman Best 5. Enari Tuala 6. Jack Cogger 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Jacob Saifiti 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Leo Thompson 11. Dylan Lucas 12. Kai Pearce-Paul 13. Adam Elliott 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Daniel Saifiti 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Mathew Croker 18. Jed Cartwright 19. Brodie Jones 20. Tyson Gamble 21. David Armstrong 22. Thomas Jenkins

Referee: Peter Gough

Embed from Getty Images


The Bulldogs are back at home after a ‘close-but-no-cigar’ game in Melbourne, preparing for the grunt of a Newcastle team that almost upset the Sydney Roosters last week.

Cameron Ciraldo’s men were understrength but determined and gritty, almost defeating the Storm at AAMI Park.

While Kalyn Ponga suffered a hip pointer injury, he showed bravery to battle through and produce a superb performance against the Tricolours.

This week, the Bulldogs will be reminded of the two thrashings the Novocastrians game them last season (42-6 and 66-0). Although it’s chalk and cheese to compare last year’s Canterbury to this year’s, the pain will no doubt still linger.

There is a chance the Bulldogs could welcome back Max King from a hand injury, and it remains to be seen if they can be consistent throughout the year, particularly in this game which is followed by a bye for the blue and whites.

Newcastle’s pack will be tough to contain, with Adam Elliot, Englishman Kai Pearce-Paul, and Kiwi monster Leo Thompson in fine form.

Viliame Kikau – on the other hand – is in some of the best form of his career after an injury-plagued 2023. Connor Tracey was superb at fullback and has been given the nod ahead of Blake Taaffe who starts from the bench.

The difference, however, should be in the halves. Jackson Hastings has the ability to take the correct option in the red zone more often than not, an area Drew Hutchison has lacked so far this season, proving costly on a number of occasions. Whether Hutchison can fix those issues this week, or whether Toby Sexton replaces him prior to kick off, remains to be seen.

Head-to-head stats can be found at Round 7 Number Crunch.


Bulldogs by 6 points.

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