The nib Newcastle Knights face the Melbourne Storm at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Sunday afternoon in NRL Indigenous Round.
Falling short 18-12 against the Bulldogs last week at home, young guns Chris Randall and Phoenix Crossland come into the side following season-ending injuries to Andrew McCullough and Connor Watson.
Melbourne have also named two returning players in Marion Seve and Tom Eisenhuth who replace injured men Brenko Lee and Paul Momirovski.
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v MELBOURNE STORM
Date: Sunday, August 2
Venue: Sunshine Coast Stadium
FOLLOW THE ACTION
If you can't catch the game on TV or radio, the Knights will be blogging the game at newcastleknights.com.au.
Pearce: Ownership, kicking, form, future
Both sides have confirmed their lists, with Melbourne opting to make some big changes from the side named on Tuesday.
Justin Olam is out, with Tom Eisenhuth taking his place at centre. Nelson Asofa-Solomona will now start on the bench, with Jesse Bromwich returning to the front row. Albert Vete, Darryn Schonig and Ryley Jacks drop off the extended bench.
Meanwhile, Mason Lino, Tex Hoy, Jirah Momoisea and Mat Croker have dropped off Adam O'Brien's squad, with the side set to be 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. Chris Randall, 10. Jacob Saifiti, 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12. Aidan Guerra, 13. Mitch Barnett. Interchange: 14. Phoenix Crossland, 15. Josh King, 16. Pasami Saulo, 17. Herman Ese'ese.
1. Ryan Papenhuyzen, 2. Suliasi Vunivalu, 3. Marion Seve, 17. Tom Eisenhuth, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Jahrome Hughes, 21. Jesse Bromwich , 9. Cameron Smith, 10. Christian Welch, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Kenny Bromwich, 13. Dale Finucane. Interchange: 8. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 14. Brandon Smith, 15. Tino Faasuamaleaui, 19. Nicho Hynes.
On Sunday, our players will be wearing boots painted by a young Aboriginal artist in support of Cultural Choice Association and their fight to end Aboriginal youth suicide.
Suicide is the second biggest killer of Aboriginal children aged 14 and under. Any life lost to suicide is one too many.
You can head to their page to donate to their GoFundMe or keep an eye out for when these boots go up for auction after the round.
"It's our history. It's our culture. It's an opportunity to educate."
TURNING THE TIDE
Facing off against the Victorian powerhouse club for the second time this season, the Knights will be determined to bounce back in the return bout.
Mounting a second half comeback before going down 26-12 back in Round 5, coach Adam O’Brien will be stressing the importance of starting well on Sunday afternoon after conceding a big halftime deficit at Gosford seven weeks ago.
Unable to put back-to-back wins together since facing their opponents back in June, the Knights will be looking to end a run of eight straight losses against the Storm dating back to 2015.
CROSSING THE BORDER
Pasami: Confidence, more games, Storm challenge
Venturing into Queensland for the second time this season, the Knights will be out to end a poor run in the sunshine state.
Winning just once in their past 11 visits to Queensland, the playing group will be eager to atone following their worst half of the season during the 32-20 loss to the Cowboys in Townsville.
Playing at Sunshine Coast Stadium for the first time on Sunday afternoon, the fixture will be only the second time the two sides have faced off at a venue other than Newcastle or Melbourne.
50 GAMES FOR THE CAPTAIN
Becoming the latest Newcastle player to bring up a personal milestone, captain Mitchell Pearce will mark Sunday’s clash with his 50th appearance for the Club.
Making an immediate impression at the Knights with a golden point field goal on debut in 2018, the 31-year-old halfback has been a standout performer this season with six try-assists, four forced drop outs and two tries.
Providing tremendous leadership on the field, Pearce will be out to help the Knights stay in touch with the top four.
KNIGHTS STAT ATTACK
Former Melbourne outside back Kurt Mann was a standout in last week’s loss producing 52 tackles, two forced drop outs and a line break assist.
This is the fourth time the Knights have played a premiership match against a non-Queensland team in Queensland.
Joey's Rd11 Breakdown: poor kicking, O'Brien's comments, injuries
STORM STAT ATTACK
Melbourne have won their past 13 matches in Queensland.
Melbourne wingers Suliasi Vunivalu (9 tries in 7 matches) and Josh Addo-Carr (7 tries in 7 matches) boast tremendous strike rates against the Knights.