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The Situation Room: All the scenarios heading into Rd20

We see your messages across our social pipes, so we've broken down the situation.

With one game remaining in the 2020 season, the nib Newcastle Knights face a couple of different scenarios depending on how results play out across the weekend.

Either way, it appears we'll be facing South Sydney in week one of the finals, however both sides will be fighting hard for hosting rights of the fixture.

Firstly, let's have a look at how things stand right now.

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The Current Situation

The bottom half of the top eight, as it stands at the conclusion of Round 19, looks like this:

5. Raiders 26pts +118

6. Knights 23pts +77

7. Rabbitohs 22pts +117

8. Sharks 20pts +10

As you can see, the Raiders have shifted their focus towards an assault on the top four after a 26-14 victory over the Warriors.

Further down the ladder, a 34-18 loss to the Sydney Roosters has the Sharks likely to finish 8th on differentials, leaving the Rabbitohs as our near-certain opponents in week one of the finals following their shock loss to the Bulldogs.

Meanwhile, our big win over the Dragons saw us leapfrog the Bunnies to 6th, meaning the Knights would host Souths in a blockbuster at McDonald Jones Stadium if the positions stay the same.

However, the hosting rights to the likely-match up could yet change.

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The Matches that Matter

Gold Coast Titans v Newcastle Knights - CBUS Super Stadium

Friday 25th September, 6:00pm

The Knights will face a tough trip north of the border against the in-form Titans to finish the regular season.

The Titans have been the surprise packets of the season, winning their last four games to leave them just outside of finals contention.

Justin Holbrook's men will be playing for pride only, however the Knights will need to be on if they're to get the points.

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Sydney Roosters - ANZ Stadium

Friday 25th September, 7:55pm

The back-to-back Premiers are flying high, as they normally do at this time of the season, however derby day always throws up a few surprises.

There's no doubt Souths, with a home final potentially on the line and a fierce hatred of their neighbours, will absolutely be up for this one.

Add in Trent Robinson's decision to rest Joey Manu, Lindsey Collins and Isaac Liu ahead of the finals, and this one is suddenly anyone's game.

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Situation #1: The Knights beat the Titans

Should the Knights get over the Titans, 6th place (and a home final) will be locked up, regardless of the result of the Roosters and Rabbitohs.

The advantage of playing a final at McDonald Jones Stadium, as well as the increased capacity of 50% and a likely Sunday-afternoon time slot, is critical to the Knights' hopes of advancing past the first stage of the finals.

If that's not enough motivation to get the W this weekend, nothing will be.

Situation #2: The Knights and Rabbitohs both lose

Should we lose against the Gold Coast, the team will be sweating on the Rabbitohs-Roosters result, which would ultimately decide whether we book a maiden home final since 2006.

However, should the Premiers get over their rivals as expected, the Knights would still hang on to 6th place regardless of if they beat the Titans.

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Situation #3: The Knights lose and Rabbitohs win

This is the nightmare scenario for Adam O'Brien and his men, with the Rabbitohs leaping into 6th place should this scenario play out.

Instead of hosting the Bunnies in front of 15,000 members and fans at home, we would instead face a tough trip to ANZ Stadium to take on the Bunnies in front of a crowd of potentially 40,000 in week one of the finals.

It would require two monumental upsets, yet unfortunately remains a possibility.

Situation #4: The Knights lose and Rabbitohs draw

However unlikely, a Knights loss and Bunnies draw would leave the teams locked on 23 points, and the Rabbitohs' superior points differential would get them over the line.

The story would be the same if the Knights were held by the Titans and the Bunnies nabbed an upset over the Roosters.

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