NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v PARRAMATTA EELS
Round 25, NRL Premiership 2014
Date: Saturday August 30
Kick off: 3pm
Venue: Hunter Stadium
Referees: Adam Devcich, Grant Atkins
Last time they met:
The Newcastle Knights defeated the Parramatta Eels 16-10 in Round 16 at Pirtek Stadium. The last time the Knights met the Eels at Hunter Stadium, the Knights won 54-6 in Danny Buderus' final last match on home turf.
Played 45 times. Knights 25, Eels 19, Draw 1. The Knights have a good history against the Eels, winning the past six against the Eels with four of these fixtures played at Hunter Stadium.
1. Kurt Gidley (c), 2. Chanel Mata’utia, 3. Dane Gagai, 4. Joey Leilua, 5. Sione Mata’utia, 6. Jarrod Mullen, 7. Tyrone Roberts, 8. David Fa’alogo, 9. Adam Clydsdale, 10. Willie Mason, 11. Beau Scott, 12. Robbie Rochow, 13. Adam Cuthbertson. Bench: 14. Travis Waddell, 15. Korbin Sims, 17. Chris Houston, 18. Timana Tahu.
1. Jarryd Hayne (c), 2. Semi Radradra, 3. William Hopoate, 4. Ryan Morgan, 5. Vai Toutai, 6. Corey Norman, 7. Chris Sandow, 8. Tim Mannah (c), 9. Isaac De Gois, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Kenny Edwards, 12. Tepai Moeroa, 13. Joseph Paulo. Bench: 14. Peni Terepo, 15. David Gower, 16. Darcy Lussick, 17. Ben Smith, 18. Pauli Pauli.
Much the same as last week, the Newcastle Knights are coming up against another team fighting for their spot in the top eight.
While the Knights suffered a heavy loss against the Brisbane Broncos last weekend, the Knights has won four of their last five games played at home.
“Being at home is obviously a huge plus for us with our record being four from our last five and knocking off some top-four teams,” Ambassador Danny Buderus said.
“For us to bounce back though we have to execute a lot better than last week when we are positioned to score points.”
There are a number of players the men in red and blue will need to watch.
“Their go-forward has been really good in the last few months, especially from David Gower who offers footwork and also an offload,” Buderus said.
“Kenny Edwards is ripping that football forward along with Tim Mannah, which brings their shape into play and allows their halves and (Jarryd) Hayne to create some dangerous plays on the edge to defend against.
“Jarryd is showing that he can win any game for his teammates but he has a lot of support from guys starting to build confidence.
“We have to build a lot more pressure and be composed with the end of our sets.”
Currently sitting in eighth position on the ladder, the Eels are eyeing off their first finals series since 2009.
The Broncos, Dragons and Warriors will all be looking for a favour from the Knights on Saturday afternoon, each of them sitting only two points behind the Eels.
With finals out of the equation for the Knights, captain Kurt Gidley told the media they are intent on finishing season 2014 on a high note for the fans.
Where it will be won:
“The middle of the field will be where it’s won,” Buderus added.
That means the Knights need big games from David Fa’alogo, Wilie Mason and Korbin Sims.
Meanwhile, the kicking game was something the Knights struggled with last week, making only 369 metres while the Broncos pegged up 549. Jarrod Mullen will be the key here.
“Mullo will provide that along with seeing Tyrone Roberts play with a lot more confidence than he showed last week,” Buderus explains.
“If we can eliminate the metres they make it will hopefully nullify and blunt their attack.”
“This week we’ll have a pretty similar side and it’s just a matter of overcoming our own obstacles and making sure we perform well,” Robbie Rochow said earlier this week.