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Behind Enemy Lines: Round 7

We infiltrated the Wests Tigers camp this week to bring you all the latest news on Saturday night’s clash at Scully Park in Tamworth.

The big news is Adam Reynolds has been replaced by co-captain Elijah Taylor after being ruled out with a minor shoulder injury, with the New Zealand international a huge boost to their forward pack.

The Tigers have started the season strong, sitting comfortably in fourth position and have recorded just one loss thus far.  

Whilst they’re going into the weekend seemingly confident, Tigers forward and former Knight Robbie Rochow is conscious of the impact that Kalyn Ponga and Mitchell Pearce will have come Saturday.

“It seems like they have got some dangerous combinations developing…Ponga is a massive threat and Mitchell Pearce’s running game will be a massive factor,” Rochow said on the Tigers website.

The Tigers are paying plenty of attention on the matchup of Ponga against fullback Corey Thompson. 

The youngster has been applauded for his combination with a number of players in the Knights spine, and players are weary what impact he’ll have on this weekend’s game.

Star five-eighth Benji Marshall knows the teenager is one of the Knights danger men.

“We haven’t done any video as of yet but from what I have seen he is very sharp to watch, it’s very exciting for the game and great for Newcastle,” Marshall said.

He also praised the quality of the signings Newcastle has achieved coming off the back of some difficult seasons.

“I think that’s why they signed Ponga so early… to build their team around,” Marshall added.

“The key however is Mitchell Pearce… he really just opens up Kalyn’s game… to not have to worry about organising and just run the ball. 

“The leadership role he has taken on there has been great for his game and in my opinion, he has been the buy of the year (for Newcastle).”