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Ultimate Guide: Roosters confirm 17

The nib Newcastle Knights will collide with rivals, the Sydney Roosters, in a massive clash at Sunshine Coast Stadium this Friday.

Having relocated to the area, the red and blue will look to bounce back from a tough loss to Melbourne last start with a much-needed victory at their new home away from home.

The Sydney Roosters current sit in fifth after toppling the North Queensland Cowboys last round.

Both teams exhibit attacking flair in numbers while the match is sure to add another exciting chapter to a classic rivalry.

This is your Ultimate Guide to the Newcastle Knights Round 19 fixture with the Sydney Roosters, brought to you by Mine Super.


Date: Friday July 23, 2021

Kick-off: 6:00pm

Venue: Sunshine Coast Stadium, Sunshine Coast


Since: 1988

Played: 57

Roosters: 35

Knights: 20

Draws: 2



1. James Tedesco, 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Billy Smith, 4. Joey Manu, 5. Matt Ikuvalu, 6. Drew Hutchison, 7. Sam Walker, 8. Jared Wearea-Hargreaves, 9. Sam Verrills, 10. Isaac Liu, 11. Angus Crichton, 12. Sitili Tupouniua, 13. Victor Radley. Interchange: 14. Lachlan Lam, 15. Nat Butcher, 16. Egan Butcher, 19. Fletcher Baker. 18th man: 18. Adam Keighran.

Coach: Trent Robinson


1. Kalyn Ponga, 2. Dominic Young, 3. Enari Tuala, 4. Kurt Mann, 5. Hymel Hunt, 6. Jake Clifford, 7. Phoenix Crossland, 8. Jacob Saifiti, 9. Jayden Brailey, 10. Daniel Saifiti, 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Mitch Barnett, 13. Connor Watson. Interchange: 14. Sauaso Sue, 16. Josh King, 17. Brodie Jones, 18. Jack Johns. 18th man: 20. Tex Hoy.

Coach: Adam O'Brien


LATE MAIL: Adam O'Brien has locked in his 17 to take on the Roosters.

Jirah Momoisea is the player to drop off the extended bench, with Tex Hoy confirmed as the side's 18th man.

The remainder of the side is unchanged from the one updated on Thursday night.

For the Roosters, there have been no late changes to the starting side ahead of kick-off. 

Adam Keighran has been named as 18th man with Ben Thomas omitted. 

UPDATE: Siosiua Taukeiaho has been ruled out for the Tricolours.

Fletcher Baker takes his place on the bench, while Josh Morris was the other name to drop off in the 24-hour update.

Meanwhile, David Klemmer, Simi Sasagi and Lachlan Fitzgibbon come out of the side this week, leaving Jirah Momoisea and Tex Hoy on standby in the reserves.

Jack Johns comes onto the bench in Klemmer's place.

EARLIER: Knights Head Coach, Adam O'Brien, has named his 21-man squad to take on the Sydney Roosters this Friday night at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

In welcome news, co-captain Daniel Saifiti has been named to start in the front-row while Sauaso Sue returns to the bench.

Mitchell Pearce has been ruled out with Phoenix Crossland slotting into the No.7 role for the second week running.

Connor Watson has been named to start at lock-forward while Lachlan Fitzgibbon moves back to the extended bench.

Meanwhile for the Roosters, James Tedesco headlines the returns.

The NSW Origin-winning skipper will line up at the back, while Siosiua Taukeiaho also makes his comeback from a hamstring complaint off the bench.

Josh Morris has been shuffled to the reserves, making way for Joey Manu in the centres.


A dismal loss to Melbourne ended Newcastle's two-game winning spree.

The 48-4 defeat at the hands of the Storm was the heaviest of the season so far for the Knights and they will look to respond with vigour against the Chooks.

With every two points becoming increasingly crucial, the side currently sits 10th on the ladder, tied with Cronulla and Canberra on 16 points.

The Roosters have won their last two games including a 22-16 win over the Bulldogs and a last-start 34-18 triumph over the North Queensland Cowboys.

The Tri-colours have won 11 out of their 17 games to sit fifth on the ladder.


The Knights and Roosters have played out many intense battles since the red and blue's inception back in 1988.

The Tricolours hold the lead in the record stakes with 35 wins to the Knights 20.

Sydney have also won nine of the last 10 against the Knights, a record Newcastle will be looking to turnaround on the Sunshine Coast.

Newcastle's last win against the Chooks was in 2019 when a firing Mitchell Pearce came back to haunt his old side.

Take a look at five of the best games against the Roosters from over the years.

Rivalries: Knights v Roosters


Daniel Tupou v Hymel Hunt

Two power-running, dynamic wingers highlight our key match-up with Hymel Hunt set to got toe-to-toe with Daniel Tupou.

The recently re-signed Hunt has made 18 tackle breaks for four line-breaks so far this season.

'H' has also combined with an average running metres total of 126 metres per game.

Tupou stands as one of the leading try-scorers in Roosters history and has tallied eight tries this season.

The towering winger is renowned for his aerial ability meaning Hunt will have to bring his A-game under the high-ball.


The match will be the second time in Knights history the side has played at Sunshine Coast Stadium with the first coming against the Melbourne Storm last season.

The Knights have averaged a 78% completion rate this season compared to the Roosters 76%.

Jayden Brailey made 43 tackles against the Storm to sit on 812 for the season - the second most in the NRL.

Newcastle will need to be wary of lively Roosters halfback Sam Walker, who sits equal second in the NRL for try-assists with 16.