We're one week away from the season re-starting, and at long last, we have a draw!
The nib Newcastle Knights had already been confirmed to resume their season next Sunday against Penrith, however we now have a full draw from the remaining 18 rounds of the season.
Here’s everything you need to know about how this affects the remainder of our season.
Knights TV Presents: Our full 2020 draw
FAVOURABLE TOP EIGHT DRAW
One of the main indicators used to measure the favourability of a draw is how many times you play the previous year's top eight.
In a huge advantage for the Knights, the team will play Melbourne and Manly twice, while coming up against the remainder of last year’s top eight just once.
The Knights will face re-matches against the Warriors (Rd. 16) and Tigers (Rd. 13) following victories in rounds one and two respectively, while also playing the Cowboys twice.
THE RUN HOME
When the season begins its turn for home, the final run of games can be pivotal to a team’s chances of making the finals.
The Knights will face last season’s bottom two teams in their final two games, against the Dragons (Rd. 19) and Titans (Rd. 20) respectively.
However, these games will be preceded by a massive Round 18 clash with back to back premiers the Sydney Roosters.
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FREE TO AIR FIXTURES
After winning our first two games, it seems the Knights are in demand.
The revised draw will see us pick up an extra free-to-air game, with nine games now to be played live and free on Channel Nine.
This is up from the originally scheduled eight games at the start of the season.
NIGHT GAMES A RARITY
In another win for fans, the Knights will be treated to more fast, free flowing football, with the squad scheduled to play just six games out of 20 at night.
As seen in the opening two rounds, the Knights are full of attacking flare and points will be allowed to flow freely in the dry conditions provided by day football.
The family-friendly time slots will also appeal to Knights fans of all ages who are hoping to catch a game!
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With the draw revised, but venues still to be confirmed, this is one that could change going forward.
However, as it stands, the Knights will only be made to travel out of New South Wales three times in 2020. These matches will be against the Cowboys (Rd. 7), Storm (Rd. 12) and Titans (Rd. 20).
Tough away games, originally scheduled against Canberra and Brisbane, have either been moved to neutral venues or cancelled all together.
The venue for the Round 16 clash with the Warriors is yet to be confirmed, and will depend heavily on the situation surrounding COVID-19 at the time.
FRIENDLY TURNAROUND SCHEDULES
With the season extending into October, player fatigue will need to be closely managed throughout the year.
The Knights have received a huge boost in that department, being almost completely spared of the dreaded five-day turnaround between games.
The Knights will need to complete just one five day turnaround, between clashes with the Storm (Rd. 5) and Broncos (Rd. 6).