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Ultimate Guide: Raiders make late change

A mammoth contest awaits the nib Newcastle Knights with the side set to lock horns with the Canberra Raiders this Sunday at Suncorp Stadium.

Originally slated for a Saturday night kick off, the match was postponed to Sunday due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak in Queensland.

After a last-start 28-8 loss to the Sydney Roosters, the Knights will view the match as a must-win in terms of their top eight hopes.

The Knights sit in 11th spot only two points away from the Raiders with six rounds to go.

The game will be played at the neutral Suncorp Stadium with both teams set to put it all on the line for a huge two points.

This is your Ultimate Guide to the Newcastle Knights Round 20 fixture against the Canberra Raiders, brought to you by Mine Super.


Date: Sunday August 1, 2021

Kick-off: 1:50pm

Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane


Since: 1988

Played: 52

Knights: 22

Raiders: 28

Draws: 2



1. Kalyn Ponga, 2. Enari Tuala, 3. Kurt Mann, 4. Bradman Best, 5. Hymel Hunt, 6. Phoenix Crossland, 7. Jake Clifford , 8. Jacob Saifiti, 9. Jayden Brailey (c), 10. Daniel Saifiti (c), 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Mitch Barnett, 14. Sauaso Sue. Interchange: 13. Connor Watson, 15. David Klemmer, 16. Josh King, 17. Brodie Jones. 18th Man: 20. Tex Hoy.

Coach: Adam O'Brien


1. Jordan Rapana, 2. Harley Smith-Shields, 3. Jarrod Croker (c), 4. Sebastian Kris, 5. Semi Valemei, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Sam Williams, 17. Joseph Tapine, 9. Josh Hodgson, 10. Emre Guler, 11. Corey Harawira-Naera, 12. Elliot Whitehead, 13. Hudson Young. Interchange: 8. Josh Papalii,14.Tom Starling, 15. Matthew Timoko, 16. Iosia Soliola. 18th Man: 21. Dunamis Lui.

Coach: Ricky Stuart


UPDATE: Both sides have opted for late changes, with Josh Papalii and Connor Watson both shuffling back to their respective benches.

Joseph Tapine and Sauaso Sue take their places, with Dunamis Lui and Tex Hoy in reserve as their team's 18th men.

EARLIER: Mitchell Pearce has officially been ruled out of the game, dropping out of the side alongside Simi Sasagi.

Bailey Simonsson and Ryan James are the two players to drop out of the Raiders squad.

EARLIER: Knights Head Coach, Adam O'Brien, has named his squad for Saturday evening's crunch clash with Canberra.

Mitchell Pearce has been named at jersey No. 21 and remains a chance of returning from a hamstring injury.

Phoenix Crossland and Jake Clifford have switched roles in the halves.

Bradman Best will also return in the centres after a seven-week lay off with an ankle injury, while David Klemmer will also make his return off the bench.

Dom Young comes out of the side this week, with Enari Tuala moving to the wing.

For the Raiders, Jack Wighton and Elliott Whitehead have been named to make their return from injuries, with Wighton returning to five-eighth and Whitehead to the second row.

Ryan Sutton has been withdrawn due to injury, which sees Hudson Young move from second row to lock.


The Knights went down to the Roosters last round enduring their 11th defeat of the season.

Newcastle will look to end a two-game losing streak and bounce-back against the Canberra outfit.

The red and blue have enjoyed a great recent record against the Raiders including a 24-16 comeback win over their upcoming opponent earlier this season.

They will, however, need to be wary of in-form Raiders line-up.

The Green Machine have won their last three games including a 12-10 victory against the Parramatta Eels last round.


Kurt Mann v Jarrod Croker

The match-up of the centres looms as an intriguing battle in Saturday night's fixture.

Kurt Mann will be riding high after news of his re-signing with the Club this week.

Mann ran for the most amount of metres out of the Knights side which took on the Roosters last round, tallying 149 metres at right centre.

The Queenslander will have a battle on his hands against the Raiders captain.

Croker moved to equal third on the all-time points scoring list last round with 2,222 in the NRL.


Newcastle has scored more points against Canberra than any other team in the Club's history.

The Knights have scored 1,194 points against the Green Machine in 52 matches at an average of just over 22 points a game.

The Knights have won three of the last four games against the Raiders.

Mitchell Pearce is a welcome inclusion back into the side. Pearce sits fourth for the best average kick metres in the NRL with 353 metres per game.

The Knights will need to stop the running game of Jordan Rapana who sits third for tackle breaks in the NRL with 90.


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Our charity partner for the match is - PCYC Newcastle

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