NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v MELBOURNE STORM
Saturday August 9, 5.30pm
Venue: Hunter Stadium
Referees: Ashley Klein, Chris Butler
Broadcast: Live Fox Sports
Last time they met:
Melbourne defeated Newcastle 28-20 in Round 3 at AAMI Park.
The Knights has played the Storm on 32 occasions. Storm have the better record, with 19 wins to the Knights’ 13. At Hunter Stadium, it has been five years since the Knights have defeated Melbourne.
1. Kurt Gidley (c), 2. Chanel Mata’utia, 3. Dane Gagai, 4. Joey Leilua, 5. Akuila Uate, 6. Jarrod Mullen, 7. Tyrone Roberts, 8. Kade Snowden, 9. Adam Clydsdale, 10. Willie Mason, 11. Beau Scott, 12. Robbie Rochow, 13. Jeremy Smith. Bench: 14. Travis Waddell, 15. Korbin Sims, 17. Adam Cuthbertson, 18. David Fa’alogo, 19. Chris Houston.
1. Billy Slater, 2. Sisa Waqa, 3. Will Chambers, 4. Mahe Fonua, 5. Marika Koroibete, 6. Ben Roberts, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Cameron Smith (c), 10. Bryan Noorie, 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. Ryan Hoffman, 13. Ryan Hinchcliffe. Bench: 14. Tim Glasby, 15. Tohu Harris, 16. Kenneath Bromwich, 17. Jordan McLean, 18. Dayne Weston, 19. Kurt Mann.
The Newcastle Knights went to Melbourne in Round 3 this season with confidence but were unable to match the heroics of that semi-final win last year.
The Storm, who have won their last three games, now come to Newcastle for the next instalment of the always-memorable clashes between these two sides.
After a heavy defeat in Round 21, the Knights need to get back to basics.
“It is important when you play Melbourne that everyone plays their role and that the execution is spot on,” says Anthony Quinn.
“Preparing for the Storm will be similar to Souths, in that they are a well-drilled team.
“If one of our players doesn’t do their job, they will be easily exposed.”
The Knights will be bolstered by a number of returns this weekend, including five-eighth Jarrod Mullen and prop Kade Snowden.
“It is always good to get one of your playmakers back and also for the team to have Kurt (Gidley), Jarrod, Tyrone (Roberts) and Adam (Clydsdale) on the field at once,” Quinn added.
“It will be also be a boost to get Kade’s size and experience back into the front-row.”
Gidley has been moved to fullback this weekend, with Mullen and Roberts named as the halves combination.
Both teams have named extended squads and are yet to finalise their 17. If Chris Houston, who is on a five-man bench for the Knights, gets the nod he will play his 150th NRL game.
Where it will be won:
With a relentless attitude.
It is going to be an arm-wrestle this Saturday at Hunter Stadium. The more pressure the Knights can build, the more chance they have of forcing an uncharacteristic error from the Storm. With the limited opportunities you get against a Storm team, the Knights’ execution will be paramount also.
“Melbourne turn up every week to play football, and if you don’t, you get beaten by them," Beau Scott said after he re-signed with the Club this week.