NRL match preview: Round 11
The nib Newcastle Knights will be aiming to record back-to-back wins as they host the Penrith Panthers this Sunday at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The match marks the last game on home turf for six weeks, with two byes and three away matches to follow for the men in red and blue.
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v PENRITH PANTHERS
Date: Sunday May 21
Gates open: 9.30am
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
1. Dane Gagai, 2. Ken Sio, 3. Joe Wardle, 4. Peter Mata’utia, 5. Nathan Ross, 6. Brock Lamb, 7. Jaelen Feeney, 8. Daniel Saifiti, 9. Danny Levi, 10. Josh Starling, 11. Sione Mata’utia, 12. Sam Stone, 13. Josh King. Interchange: 14. Luke Yates, 15. Anthony Tupou, 16. Mitch Barnett, 17. Jacob Saifiti, 18. Brendan Elliot, 19. Tyler Randell, 20. Trent Hodkinson, 21. Jack Stockwell.
1. Matt Moylan, 2. Peta Hiku, 3. Dean Whare, 4. Waqa Blake, 5. Dallin Watene-Zelesniak, 6. Bryce Cartwright, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. James Tamou, 9. Peter Wallace, 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 11. Corey Harawira-Naera, 12. Isaah Yeo, 13. Trent Merrin. Interchange: 14. Tyrone Peachey, 15. Leilani Latu, 16. Tim Browne, 17. Viliame Kikau, 18. Moses Leota, 19. Sitaleki Akauola, 20. Mitch Rein, 21. Te Maire Martin.
Barn-storming Barnett returns
In the opening rounds of the 2017 season Mitch Barnett was easily one of the Club’s best, until the young forward was was sidelined with an unfortunate ankle injury in Round 8.
He’s been named to return from the bench this weekend earlier than expected, after working hard and getting a little luck through his rehabilitation process.
In the end he’s only missed two matches, with Luke Yates and Josh King sharing the lock position.
They both keep their places in the squad, with King named to start this week after an impressive performance last Sunday.
“I enjoy playing with all of the boys and want to get back out there, perform week in, week out and keep trying to get that win,” Barnett said on Wednesday.
“I want to repay the boys by putting in a good performance and taking my opportunity this weekend.”
Barnett’s work ethic and toughness will definitely be needed against a Panthers side that contains several representative forwards.