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After six months of a thrilling 2021 season, the nib Newcastle Knights have arrived to September ready to fight it out for the premiership crown.

The Knights will take on the Parramatta Eels in an elimination final at Rockhampton's Browne Park on Sunday.

It's been 20 years since the red and blue defeated Parramatta in the famous 2001 Grand Final, and the two clubs will once again meet in do-or-die circumstances.

The two sides are in with a host of superstars returning to the line-up.

This is your Ultimate Guide to the Newcastle Knights Elimination Final against the Parramatta Eels, brought to you by Mine Super.


Date: Sunday September 12th, 2021

Kick-off: 4:05pm

Venue: Browne Park, Rockhampton


Since: 1988

Played: 55

Eels: 24

Knights: 30

Draws: 1



1. Clint Gutherson, 2. Haze Dunster, 3. Will Penisini, 4. Waqa Blake, 5. Blake Ferguson, 6. Dylan Brown, 7. Mitchell Moses, 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 9. Ray Stone, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Shaun Lane, 12. Marata Niukore, 13. Nathan Brown. Interchange: 14. Will Smith, 15. Bryce Cartwright, 16. Isaiah Papali'i, 17. Makahesi Makatoa. 18th Man: 20. Tom Opacic.

Coach: Brad Arthur


1. Kalyn Ponga, 2. Enari Tuala, 3. Kurt Mann, 4. Bradman Best, 5. Hymel Hunt, 6. Jake Clifford, 7. Mitchell Pearce, 8. Jacob Saifiti, 9. Jayden Brailey (c) 10. Daniel Saifiti, 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. Simi Sasagi.

Coach: Adam O'Brien


LATE MAIL: Parramatta have confirmed their team, with Brad Arthur's men set to line up 1-17.

Adam O'Brien has pulled a late change in the forwards, with Connor Watson moving to the bench and Sauaso Sue taking his place at lock.

UPDATE: The Eels have reduced their squad, with Arthur dropping Ryan Matterson and Jake Arthur from the team list.

Meanwhile, Phoenix Crossland and Jack Johns were the players omitted by Adam O'Brien.

EARLIER: Adam O'Brien, has named his 21-man squad for Sunday's Elimination Final against Parramatta.

The Knights will finally welcome back Daniel Saifiti after a three-week layoff due to a knee complaint.

David Klemmer has also been named despite not finishing Saturday's clash with the Broncos.

Hymel Hunt, Jacob Saifiti, Jayden Brailey, Tyson Frizell, Sauaso Sue and Mitch Barnett are all back in the side after rests last week.

For the Eels, Junior Paulo and Reagan Campbell-Gillard both return to the side this week while Ryan Matterson is named on the extended bench.

Clint Gutherson, Mitch Moses, Isaiah Papali'i, Nathan Brown, Waqa Blake, Marata Niukore and Dylan Brown also return after being rested.


An undefeated August catapulted the Newcastle Knights into finals contention.

Newcastle won five of their last six to cement seventh spot and earn themselves a shot at premiership glory.

An under-strengthed side went down 35-22 to the Brisbane Broncos last start, while a host of first grade regulars will make their returns to the line-up.

Parramatta finished in sixth spot and have won two of their last six.

They lost 40-6 to the Penrith Panthers last start but will also welcome back some top grade players for Sunday's game.


It's that time of the year!

Finals football is here with eight teams believing 2021 is their year to win the Grand Final.

For Newcastle, it marks an 18-year first for the Club in achieving back-to-back finals appearances, however Adam O'Brien and his men will be determined to go much further this season.

The Knights bowed out in week one of the finals last season to the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

It's been 20 years since the Club last tasted premiership success, while the winner of Sunday's match will march onto play either South Sydney/Penrith or face an exit from the competition.


Mitchell Pearce v Mitchell Moses

Arguably the seven jumper is the most influential position on the field, and both players will have a huge say on who comes away with the victory on Sunday.

In 11 appearances this season, Pearce has featured in eight wins and has formed a valuable partnership with Jake Clifford.

The veteran halfback has seven try assists and seven line-break assists this season while has featured in 16 finals games since his debut in 2007.

Moses has played six finals games plus has played State of Origin this season, while has averaged 375 kicking metres per game and 15 forced drop-outs.


Since 1995, the Knights have qualified for 14 finals series while the Eels have also made 14 finals appearances.

In the first game of the finals series during that time, Parramatta have won eight of their opening games while Newcastle has won six.

Jayden Brailey made the most tackles in the NRL for the 2021 regular season with 1,036 tackles.

The current Knights team will be chasing an eight-year first, aiming to win a finals game for the first time since 2013.

Parramatta defeated Newcastle 40-4 in Round 13 this season, although the Knights have a 2-1 record over the Eels in the finals.