The nib Newcastle Knights will return home to McDonald Jones Stadium this Sunday afternoon in a collision course with arch rivals Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.
The Round 12 fixture will conclude the NRL's Indigenous Round which aims to highlight and celebrate the unique relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and rugby league.
Newcastle will don a special jersey for the round designed by talented local Aboriginal artist, Tyler Smith.
The Knights will be out to snap a two-game losing streak against an in-form Manly team, who have won six of their past seven games.
This is your Ultimate Guide to the Newcastle Knights Round 12 fixture against the Manly Sea Eagles, brought to you by Mine Super.
What Indigenous Round means to our players
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS V MANLY SEA EAGLES
Date: Sunday May 30, 2021
NSW Cup: 1:30pm
Gates Open: 1:15pm
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
Sea Eagles: 33
Let's Play a Language Game!
18. Tex Hoy, 2. Starford To'a, 3. Enari Tuala, 4. Bradman Best, 5. Brayden Musgrove, 14. Connor Watson, 7. Phoenix Crossland, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Jayden Brailey (c), 10. Daniel Saifiti (c), 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 13. Mitch Barnett. Interchange: 15. Jacob Saifiti, 16. Sauaso Sue, 17. Brodie Jones, 19. Josh King. 18th Man: 20. Simi Sasagi.
Coach: Adam O'Brien
1. Tom Trbojevic, 2. Jason Saab, 3. Brad Parker, 4. Morgan Harper, 5. Reuben Garrick, 19. Tevita Funa, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans, 8. Taniela Paseka, 9. Lachlan Croker, 10. Martin Taupau, 11. Karl Lawton, 12. Sean Keppie, 13. Jake Trbojevic. Interchange: 15. Moses Suli, 16. Zac Saddler, 17. Toafofoa Sipley, 18. Ben Trbojevic. Extended Bench: 20. Christian Tuipulotu.
Coach: Des Hasler
Head Coach, Adam O'Brien, has named his team to take on Manly this Sunday.
Kalyn Ponga and Jack Johns come out of the side, with Tex Hoy coming in at fullback.
Kurt Mann has been ruled out late, forcing Connor Watson into the halves and Josh King onto the bench.
A big inclusion includes Bradman Best to the centres.
For the Sea Eagles, Curtis Sironen has been ruled out at the 24-hour squad update while Karl Lawton has been promoted to the run-on side.
Josh Schuster is a late exclusion, allowing Ben Trbojevic to make his debut off the bench.
Tevita Funa will start at five-eighth in Schuster's place.
nib Newcastle Knights Members and fans will notice changes on arrival at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday with welcome signage in Awabakal language installed in the Newcastle Permanent Fan Zone for Indigenous Round.
The signs proudly display the words ‘Kaayi Wandakalua’, with ‘Kaayi’ traditionally used to get someone’s attention, while ‘Wandakalua’ translates broadly to ask ‘where are you going’.
Devised with assistance from the Miromaa Aboriginal Language and Technology Centre, the signs are aimed at ensuring First Nations people feel welcome while also promoting the message of Reconciliation to all at the game.
The changes don’t stop there, with name plates in the Knights dressing room also being changed up for Indigenous Round.
Each player’s name plate has been updated to reflect the local Aboriginal, Torres Strait Island or Pasifika language group of their home towns or regions.
The result is a reflection of the broad range of back stories within the Knights squad, with Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, te reo Māori, and Samoan areas all being recognised.
The name plates will remain in place for at least the remainder of the 2021 NRL season.
The Knights suffered their second loss on the bounce in a 36-20 defeat to the North Queensland Cowboys last Thursday in Townsville.
The result saw Newcastle drop to 12th on the ladder with one win in their past five rounds.
Newcastle sit two points outside of the top eight while the Sea Eagles string of victories has seen them move to sixth on the ladder.
Manly downed the third placed Parramatta Eels last start with a 28-6 result.
The Knights have won four of the past six clashes with the side from the Northern Beaches including wins in the last two encounters.
REIGNITING THE RIVALRY
From the incredible games of the late 80's to 90's, the running battles between Paul 'The Chief' Harragon and Mark 'Spud' Carroll and a famous game in 1997.
Newcastle playing Manly never fails to deliver and has been built as one of the great NRL rivalries.
The Sea Eagles hold the lead on the overall record against the Knights, however the red and blue have held the edge in recent seasons.
Mitchell Pearce's match-winning field goal in his first appearance for the Club in 2018 is one of the many classic moments against the maroon and white.
Last season's last gasp 26-24 victory is the most recent triumph over the arch rivals which saw Enari Tuala dive over with eight minutes to play to score a memorable win.
Newcastle still lead the NRL for most tackles made this season with 4,030, 17 more than second.
Manly winger Reuben Garrick leads the NRL for line breaks with 14 and sits equal second on points-scored with 104.
Manly has the lowest average set completion rate in the NRL, completing 75% of their sets while the Knights sit seventh with 78%.
The Knights defeated Manly twice in 2020 and have won two of the past three games against Manly at MJS Stadium.
Tom Trbojevic ran for 323 metres against Parramatta last round, 46 metres shy of an NRL record.
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