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Ultimate Guide: Panthers NRL team update

The nib Newcastle Knights will play their final regular season match against the Penrith Panthers at Panthers Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary will be without Josh Mansour for the clash.

The winger has been ruled out after failing to overcome his back injury while Kaide Ellis has also been omitted.


Date: Sunday, September 8

Kick-off: 4.05pm

Venue: Panthers Stadium

Watson: Competition for 2020 No.9 role


Played: 48

Knights: 24

Panthers: 21

Draw: 3



1. Kalyn Ponga, 2. Bradman Best, 3. Sione Mata'utia, 4. Hymel Hunt, 21. Starford To'a, 6. Mason Lino, 7. Mitchell Pearce, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Connor Watson, 10. Daniel Saifiti, 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12. Mitch Barnett, 16. Josh King.  Interchange: 14. Kurt Mann, 15. Herman Ese'ese, 17. Aidan Guerra, 18. Jacob Saifiti, 19. Jamie Buhrer, 20. Jirah Momoisea.


1. Dylan EDWARDS, 2. Stephen CRICHTON, 3. Dean WHARE, 4. Brent NADEN, 5. Brian TO'O, 6. James MALONEY, 7. Nathan CLEARY, 8. James TAMOU (c), 9. Wayde EGAN, 10. Moses LEOTA, 11. Viliame KIKAU, 12. Liam MARTIN, 13. James FISHER-HARRIS. 14. Jarome LUAI, 15. Spencer LENIU, 16. Billy BURNS, 17. Reagan CAMPBELL-GILLARD, 18. Sione KATOA, 19. Hame SELE

Injury report: Lee and Levi updates


Sunday afternoon will mark the final time the Newcastle Knights of 2019 play alongside one another.

Commencing pre-season training last November, the subsequent 10 months has seen the 32nd iteration of the Knights experience the highs and lows of rugby league - all the while representing the Club, team and town that define Newcastle.

Handing 10 players Club debuts - including two NRL rookies - the 26 players used in first grade this season have been responsible for a number of moments set to be remembered for years to come.


While on-field results have varied this season, individual milestones have proven to be a source of celebration throughout the playing group.

Among the many achievements to take place in 2019:

Old Boys Day: Behind the scenes

* Sione Mata’utia became the 35th player - and youngest - to reach 100 appearances for Newcastle.

* Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Jacob Saifiti, Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Josh King all played their 50th games for the club.

* Phoenix Crossland and Bradman Best debuted in first grade as 18-year-olds.


With the Knights unable to make the finals following other results last weekend, the side will look to finish strongly in preparation for the 2020 season.

Winning their final match of the home-and-away season on 17 occasions over the past 31 years, the playing group will be eager to make a strong impression for their new coach Adam O'Brien following his appointment as the Club's 12th coach on Monday evening.

Saifiti: Finishing strong; missed chances and goals

Set to undergo a turnover of talent at season’s end with Cronulla hooker Jayden Brailey and a host of promising youngsters moving into the fulltime squad, the final 17 to take the field on Sunday will be eager to finish the year with a memorable performance at the foot of the mountains.


The Knights have won 13 of 24 matches at Panthers Stadium since 1988.

Hymel Hunt and Shaun Kenny-Dowall will become the only Newcastle players to feature in all 24 matches this season.


The Panthers lost their final home match of the season last year - incidentally against the Knights (20-12).

Departing Penrith playmaker James Maloney has missed more tackles (117) and conceded more penalties (26) than any other player in 2019.

Watch: Best scores his first NRL try


The Newcastle Knights finished the Canterbury Cup NSW season in 11th position.


Elimination Final: Knights (7th) v Bulldogs (6th) at Campbelltown Stadium, 5.15pm Sunday.