The nib Newcastle Knights face off against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon at Suncorp Stadium as part of the NRL Magic Round.
Recording back-to-back wins with a clinical 36-18 performance in Auckland last Sunday, gun centre Jesse Ramien has been named to return after being a late withdrawal against the Warriors.
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS
Date: Saturday, May 11
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
1. Kalyn Ponga, 2. Edrick Lee, 3. Hymel Hunt, 4. Sione Mata'utia, 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 6. Connor Watson, 7. Mitchell Pearce, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Danny Levi, 10. Daniel Saifiti, 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12. Mitch Barnett, 13. Tim Glasby, 14. Kurt Mann, 15. Herman Ese'ese, 16. James Gavet, 17. Josh King, 18. Mason Lino, 19. Pasami Saulo, 20. Jamie Buhrer, 21. Jesse Ramien
1. Nick Meaney, 2. Jayden Okunbor, 3. Kerrod Holland, 4. Will Hopoate, 5. Reimis Smith, 6. Jack Cogger, 7. Lachlan Lewis, 8. Aiden Tolman, 9. Jeremy Marshall-King, 10. Dylan Napa, 11. Josh Jackson, 12. Corey Harawira-Naera, 13. Rhyse Martin, 14. Fa'amanu Brown, 15. Danny Fualalo, 16. Adam Elliott, 17. Sauaso Sue, 19. Kieran Foran, 21. Marcelo Montoya, 22. Ofahiki Ogden, 23. Chris Smith
TWO NSW TEAMS IN QLD
For the first time all 16 NRL clubs will come together for the inaugural Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium, however Saturday won't be the first time the Knights and Bulldogs have met north of the border.
Coming away with an 18-12 win in Mackay six years ago, coach Nathan Brown will be hoping to replicate that result on Saturday afternoon while breaking a poor record in Queensland that has seen the Knights lose their past nine visits dating back to 2015.
Winning four of 11 fixtures at the redeveloped Suncorp Stadium - the most recent occurring in 2013 - the Knights will be looking to capitalise upon the 16th placed Bulldogs who have won eight of 20 matches at the venue over the same period.
RED AND BLUE VERSUS BLUE AND WHITE
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Enjoying a strong rivalry throughout the years, Newcastle will be aiming to stop a run of six consecutive losses against Canterbury-Bankstown in a match that could see the Knights move into the top eight with victory.
Despite coming up short in recent times, the Knights have delivered a number of memorable wins over the boys from Belmore including a then-record 42-0 shutout in 1995 - the year the Bulldogs won the title - as well as a masterclass in the 2013 finals series that saw the Knights end the Bulldogs season with a 22-6 win in Sydney.
In a round billed as ‘magic’, Lachlan Fitzgibbon and Edrick Lee will be out of to showcase plenty of tricks in their milestone matches.
Embodying the progression of the Knights during the Nathan Brown era to go from a fringe forward to a try-scoring specialist, second rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon will bring up his 50th appearance for the club after being handed his start in first grade by Danny Buderus in 2015.
Among Newcastle's most consistent performers in 2019, Edrick Lee will celebrate his 100th appearance in the NRL following previous stints with Canberra and Cronulla, along with representing the Indigenous All Stars and being named 18th man for Queensland in a career that began as a teenager in 2012.
KNIGHTS STAT ATTACK
Facing off against his former team for the first time on Saturday afternoon, David Klemmer leads the NRL for running metres by a forward, while ranking second to Clinton Gutherson among all players.
BULLDOGS STAT ATTACK
The Bulldogs lead the competition for offloads with 109 over the first eight rounds - averaging 13.6 per game. In contrast, the Knights rank last with 54 offloads - an average of 6.8 each week.
All Canterbury Cup NSW teams have the bye.
Knights v Bulldogs at North Sydney Oval, 1.00pm Sunday.