The nib Newcastle Knights return to McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday afternoon to take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
Coach Adam O'Brien has stuck with the team side which beat South Sydney last week.
The Bulldogs have named Kieran Foran after scans showed no structural damage to his toe.
Marcelo Montoya comes onto the wing in place of Christian Crichton and Brandon Wakeham comes on to the bench in place of Sauaso Sue.
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS
Date: Sunday, July 26
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Being back home never felt so good
If you can't catch the game on TV or radio, the Knights will be blogging the game at newcastleknights.com.au.
Adam O'Brien has confirmed two changes to the Knights line-up with Mitch Barnett and Sione Mata'utia both to start the match, with Herman Ese'ese and Aidan Guerra shifting back to the bench.
The Bulldogs have named no changes to their side, running out 1-17.
1. Kalyn Ponga, 2. Enari Tuala, 3. Tautau Moga, 4. Bradman Best, 5. Hymel Hunt, 6. Kurt Mann, 7. Mitchell Pearce, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Andrew McCullough, 10. Jacob Saifiti, 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12. Aidan Guerra, 13. Herman Ese'ese, 14. Connor Watson, 15. Mitch Barnett, 16. Pasami Saulo, 17. Sione Mata'utia
Every Angle: Ponga and Best combine for scintillating try
1. Nick Meaney, 2. Dallin Waetene-Zelezniak, 3. Kerrod Holland, 4. Jake Averillo, 5. Marcelo Montoya, 6. Kieran Foran, 7. Lachlan Lewis, 8. Aiden Tolman, 9. Jeremy Marshall-King, 10. Dylan Napa, 11. Josh Jackson, 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner, 13. Luke Thompson, 14. Brandon Wakeham, 15. Sione Katoa, 16. Renouf To'omaga, 17. Ofahiki Ogden
BEWARE THE WOUNDED BULLDOGS
The Bulldogs may be sitting in 16th position, but if recent history is anything to go by the Knights will need to wary of their lowly opponents.
Going down in seven of their past eight clashes against the blue and whites - including five in a row at McDonald Jones Stadium - coach Adam O’Brien will have the side primed for a strong performance as they look to retain their place in the top four.
Averaging over 100 metres respectively in 2020, representative forwards David Klemmer and Herman Ese’ese will have a point to prove on Sunday afternoon coming up against their former club.
PLAYING FOR 80 MINUTES
Having established a 20-0 lead after 65 minutes only to narrowly hold on by two last Saturday, coach O’Brien will be stressing the importance of playing for 80 minutes.
Joey's Rd10 Breakdown: Nervous finish, Ponga and Best magic
Gaining plenty of admirers for their defensive resolve in matches against New Zealand, Penrith and Manly this season, the Knights will be looking to build from the disappointment of last week’s finish to continue their best start to a season in over a decade.
Returning to form with a dazzling try and an assist in last week’s win over South Sydney, Kalyn Ponga will be out to reward the Newcastle faithful with another attacking master class on Sunday afternoon.
Bringing up his 50th appearance for the club, the 22-year-old Queenslander has been among the leading attacking players in the league this year with 54 tackle breaks, six line breaks and an average of 181 metres per game.
Kicking below his best at 67.5 per cent, he will be eager to get the better of former Newcastle player Nick Meaney in a battle of the goal-kicking fullbacks.
KNIGHTS STAT ATTACK
Best: Finding my voice, learning and improving
The Knights have enjoyed their best start to a season since 2009 with six wins and a draw from their first ten matches.
Newcastle hooker Andrew McCullough kicked the only goal and field goal of his career against the Bulldogs.
BULLDOGS STAT ATTACK
The Bulldogs have come from behind at halftime to claim victory in their past three visits to Newcastle.
Interchange hooker Sione Katoa will make his 50th appearance in first grade.
Members attending the game, please click here for everything you need to know!
The 50-50 Charity Raffle is a not-for-profit fundraising product operated by the 50-50 Foundation. 50 percent of the prize pool raised at each fundraising raffle goes to one lucky ticket holder who is drawn at random during the event. The remaining 50 percent goes directly towards charitable purposes.
Our charity partner for the match is - Cerebral Palsy Alliance
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