The nib Newcastle Knights will hit the road this week in pursuit of an important two points against the in-form North Queensland Cowboys this Saturday.
The Knights have slipped down the ladder on the back of recent results and will aim to change their trajectory with a performance against the Cows.
The side went down to the Melbourne Storm last start and will spend an extended time in Queensland due to back-to-back games in the Sunshine State.
The Cowboys have won their last three games and will pose a threat on their home turf.
This is your Ultimate Guide to the Newcastle Knights Round 9 fixture with the North Queensland Cowboys.
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS v nib NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Date: Saturday, May 7, 2022
Venue: Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
AOB: Welcome inclusions and team standards
Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Scott DrinkwaterFullback for Knights is number 1 Kalyn Ponga
Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle FeldtWinger for Knights is number 2 Edrick Lee
Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Valentine HolmesCentre for Knights is number 3 Enari Tuala
Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Peta HikuCentre for Knights is number 4 Bradman Best
Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Murray TaulagiWinger for Knights is number 5 Dominic Young
Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Tom DeardenFive-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Tex Hoy
Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Chad TownsendHalfback for Knights is number 7 Phoenix Crossland
Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Jordan McLeanProp for Knights is number 8 David Klemmer
Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece RobsonHooker for Knights is number 9 Chris Randall
Prop for Cowboys is number 10 Reuben CotterProp for Knights is number 10 Daniel Saifiti
2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Tom Gilbert2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Lachlan Fitzgibbon
2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Jeremiah Nanai2nd Row for Knights is number 14 Jack Johns
Lock for Cowboys is number 13 Jason TaumaloloLock for Knights is number 13 Leo Thompson
Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Hamiso Tabuai-FidowInterchange for Knights is number 15 Jacob Saifiti
Interchange for Cowboys is number 15 Heilum LukiInterchange for Knights is number 16 Mat Croker
Interchange for Cowboys is number 16 Coen HessInterchange for Knights is number 17 Pasami Saulo
Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Griffin NeameInterchange for Knights is number 18 Simi Sasagi
Replacement for Cowboys is number 19 Jake GranvilleReplacement for Knights is number 21 Brayden Musgrove
- Referee: Liam Kennedy
- Touch Judge: Jon Stone
- Senior Review Official: Gerard Sutton
LATE MAIL: Tyson Frizell is a late withdrawal from the team with illness.
Jack Johns moves into the second-row while Simi Sasagi moves onto the bench.
Brayden Musgrove will be 18th man.
The Cowboys are 1-17 as named.
Knights Head Coach, Adam O'Brien, named his 24-man squad on Tuesday.
Back from injury lay-offs, Dom Young, Lachlan Fitzgibbon and Mat Croker are welcome inclusions into the team.
Tex Hoy and Phoenix Crossland will line-up in the halves while Jack Johns and Pasami Saulo have been named on the bench.
For the Cowboys, the team is unchanged from their Round 8 win over the Eels.
The Knights will be out to end a six-game losing run when they face the Cowboys.
The side suffered a 50-2 loss to the Melbourne Storm last start at home.
On the other side of the line, the Cowboys sit in third spot after a 35-4 win over Parramatta last round.
The two teams played twice against each other last season, coming away with a victory each.
The Knights defeated the Cowboys 38-0 in the most recent encounter.
Enari Tuala v Valentine Holmes: Two electric outside backs will do battle on Saturday night posing an intriguing match-up.
The ever-reliable Tuala hasn't missed a game since Round 6, 2020 and was one of the Knights best in a beaten side last round.
At home on the wing or in the centres, Tuala has three tries this season and has averaged 99 running metres per game.
Tuala will lock horns with Queensland Origin centre, Valentine Holmes, who plays an important role in the Cowboys attack.
Holmes also has three tries, 29 tackle breaks and five line breaks in 2022.
Newcastle will look to end a seven-year trot having last won in Townsville back in 2015.
Knights stars, Kalyn Ponga and Enari Tuala, will return to play their former side where they began their careers.
Dom Young returns to the line-up while he scored two tries against the Cowboys in the previous game between the two clubs last season.