The nib Newcastle Knights will ready themselves for the next battle when they take on the Brisbane Broncos on Thursday night.
The Knights bounced back with a scintillating 34-24 win over the Canberra Raiders last start and will come into the encounter full of confidence.
The Broncos also hit back with a 37-18 victory over the North Queensland Cowboys and will aim to keep their season alive.
The Knights have named a strong line-up to tackle the Broncos with Kalyn Ponga named as captain for the first time in his career.
This is your Ultimate Guide to the Newcastle Knights Round 21 fixture against the Brisbane Broncos, brought to you by Mine Super.
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS V BRISBANE BRONCOS
Date: Thursday August 5th, 2021
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
1. Kalyn Ponga (c), 2. Enari Tuala, 3. Kurt Mann, 4. Bradman Best, 5. Hymel Hunt, 6. Jake Clifford, 7. Mitchell Pearce, 8. Jacob Saifiti, 9. Chris Randall, 10. Daniel Saifiti (c), 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Mitch Barnett, 13. Connor Watson. Interchange: 14. Sauaso Sue, 15. David Klemmer, 16. Josh King, 17. Brodie Jones. Extended Bench: 18. Phoenix Crossland, 19. Lachlan Fitzgibbon.
Coach: Adam O'Brien
1. Tesi Niu, 2. Corey Oates, 3. Jesse Arthars, 4. Herbie Farnworth, 5. Jamayne Isaako, 6. Tyson Gamble, 7. Brodie Croft, 8. Keenan Palasia, 9. Danny Levi, 10. Payne Haas, 11. Alex Glenn, 12. Jordan Riki, 13. Kobe Hetherington. Interchange: 14. Xavier Willison, 15. Rhys Kennedy, 16. Ethan Bullemor, 19. Albert Kelly. Extended Bench: 17. TC Robati, 18. David Mead.
Coach: Kevin Walters
LATE MAIL: Adam O'Brien, has confirmed the 17 players who will face the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium tonight.
Josh King drops out of the squad, leaving Phoenix Crossland as the side's 18th man.
Lachlan Fitzgibbon comes into the starting side, with Mitch Barnett moving into the middle and pushing Connor Watson to the bench.
There are no further changes to the team named on Tuesday.
For the Broncos, the side remains unchanged.
UPDATE: Albert Kelly has been added to the Broncos bench as a cover for hooker Danny Levi, shuffling TC Robati to the reserves.
Anthony Milford and Xavier Coates were the players to come out of the team at the 24 hour squad update.
Jack Johns and Starford To'a were the players omitted by the Knights.
Knights Head Coach, Adam O'Brien, has named his 21-man squad for Thursday night's clash with Brisbane.
Mitchell Pearce will return to the team for the first time since Round 16 after recovering strongly from a hamstring complaint in recent weeks.
Pearce will partner Jake Clifford in the halves, with Clifford trotting out for his 50th NRL game.
Jayden Brailey has been rested, allowing Chris Randall to play his first NRL game since April.
Kalyn Ponga will captain the team for the first time, starting at fullback.
For Brisbane, Kotoni Staggs has been ruled out of the game and the remainder of the season with an MCL injury.
Jesse Arthars comes into the centres while an injury to dummy-half Jake Turpin which sees former Knight Danny Levi come into the starting side with TC Robati promoted to the bench.
The Knights snapped a two-game losing streak with the win over the Raiders.
The red and blue's attack was back to its best with an Enari Tuala hat-trick matched with dominant performances from Bradman Best and Ponga.
The result put the side on 18 points and into 11th spot on the ladder, while they also sit equal with five other teams on the same amount of points.
Brisbane sit 15th on 12 points, and have won two of their last five.
The Broncos have won one away game this season and have lost nine times on the road.
Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga will achieve another historic milestone when he captains the red and blue in the Round 21 clash against Brisbane.
With O'Brien set to rest Jayden Brailey for the showdown, Ponga will take the captaincy reigns for the first time in his career.
Ponga was one of five players, including Brailey, Daniel Saifiti, Mitch Barnett and now-NRLW Coach Blake Green, to be named in the squad's official leadership group back in January.
The players were chosen following an extensive selection process and were tasked with leading the club both on and off the field throughout 2021.
Ponga holds a highly regarded and extremely influential leadership role amongst the group. Being named skipper for the first time, adds another reward and natural progression in his development.
Daniel Saifiti v Payne Haas
It will be a battle of the premier props in the middle of the park with Daniel Saifiti and Payne Haas set to go toe-to-toe.
The two NSW State of Origin teammates will line-up against each other on Thursday.
Saifiti has averaged 148 running metres so far this season leading from the front with his leadership combined with three crucial tries.
D-Saf has also scored two four-pointers against the Broncos in his past three games.
Haas has been damaging this season with 54 tackle breaks and 1,122 post contact metres so far this season.
The Knights have won the last three games against the Broncos including a 27-6 win over Brisbane last season.
The Knights have averaged 89.6 per cent tackle efficiency while the Broncos have averaged 86.8 per cent.
The Broncos have the most ineffective tackles in the competition with 356.
Connor Watson has 64 tackle breaks to lead the Knights in that statistic this season while Payne Haas has 54.
5050 CHARITY RAFFLE
The 50-50 Charity Raffle is a not-for-profit fundraising product operated by the 50-50 Foundation. It is the Foundation's aim to raise significant funds for charities and good causes by partnering with sporting clubs and teams, event owners and charity partners to host fundraising raffles.
50 percent of the prize pool raised at each fundraising raffle goes to one lucky ticket holder who is drawn at random during the event. The remaining 50 percent goes directly towards charitable purposes.
Our charity partner for the match is - Nova for Women and Children