The nib Newcastle Knights will head north chasing another crucial two points when they tackle the North Queensland Cowboys this Saturday at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.
As part of Anzac Round, the Knights will wear a jersey acknowledging the generations of Australian and New Zealand servicemen and women including Newcastle’s World War II history, including the shelling of Newcastle by the Japanese in 1942.
In a huge boost for the side, Kalyn Ponga returns to the line-up alongside Jacob Saifiti, with the five-eighth set to notch 100 games in the NRL.
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS v nib NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Date: Saturday, April 22nd
Venue: Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
The match will be shown live on Fox League and Kayo Sports
Match: Cowboys v Knights
Round 8 -
Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Scott DrinkwaterFullback for Knights is number 1 Lachlan Miller
Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle FeldtWinger for Knights is number 2 Dominic Young
Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Valentine HolmesCentre for Knights is number 3 Dane Gagai
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 Greg Marzhew
Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Tom DeardenFive-Eighth for Knights is number 14 Tyson Gamble
Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Chad TownsendHalfback for Knights is number 7 Jackson Hastings
Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Jordan McLeanProp for Knights is number 8 Daniel Saifiti
Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece RobsonHooker for Knights is number 9 Phoenix Crossland
Prop for Cowboys is number 10 Coen HessProp for Knights is number 10 Leo Thompson
2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Jack Gosiewski2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Tyson Frizell
2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Jeremiah Nanai2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Lachlan Fitzgibbon
Lock for Cowboys is number 15 Jake GranvilleLock for Knights is number 13 Kurt Mann
Interchange for Cowboys is number 13 Reuben CotterInterchange for Knights is number 6 Kalyn Ponga
Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Tom ChesterInterchange for Knights is number 15 Jacob Saifiti
Interchange for Cowboys is number 16 Jamayne Taunoa-BrownInterchange for Knights is number 16 Mat Croker
Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Mitchell DunnInterchange for Knights is number 17 Jack Hetherington
Replacement for Cowboys is number 18 Riley PriceReplacement for Knights is number 18 Simi Sasagi
- Referee: Ben Cummins
- Touch Judge: Darian Furner
- Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
- Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins
TUESDAY: Knights Head Coach, Adam O'Brien, named his 22-man squad for our Anzac Round battle against the Cowboys.
Kalyn Ponga returns at five eighth to play his 100th National Rugby League match, ironically back to where in all started in Townsville.
Jacob Saifiti returns from suspension on the bench and Kurt Mann is named to start at lock.
For the Cowboys, Reuben Cotter will start the game at lock in the absence of Jason Taumalolo, who faces up to six weeks on the sideline with a knee injury.
Prop Jordan McLean's return from a hamstring injury sees Jake Granville revert to the bench.
The Knights will honour Newcastle’s World War II history, including the shelling of Newcastle by the Japanese in 1942, through its 2023 Anzac Round Jersey.
Developed in collaboration with local historical organisations including the University of Newcastle’s Hunter Living Histories and the Newcastle Industrial Heritage Association, off the back of the ‘Fortress Newcastle’ exhibition conducted in 2022, the jersey features iconic images relevant to Newcastle’s involvement in World War II.
In 1941-43, Newcastle was the most fortified place in Australia due to the city’s importance to the war effort and the production of the material required to protect Australia.
Our 2023 Anzac Round Jersey
The local relevance of this specific design allows the Club to respectfully recognise the sacrifices and contributions of our combined Forces and importantly, the Hunter community, during the Second World War.
Read more information here.
The Knights went down narrowly to the Penrith Panthers by one point in golden point last Saturday.
Despite the heartbreaking loss, the red and blue showed encouraging signs to push the back-to-back premiers to 81 minutes.
The side sit in 11th after the opening seven rounds with three wins, one draw and three defeats.
On the other side, the Cowboys sit in 16th spot with two wins and five losses, having gone down 22-14 to the Warriors last round.
Mann on dummy-half role and consistency
Dane Gagai v Valentine Holmes: What a match-up in the centres with two Queensland Origin representative set to do battle.
Gagai has led with his actions in the 2023 campaign so far with his tough carries and experience in the outside-backs.
The 252-gamer has six try-assists and 32 tackle breaks to his name to start the season.
On the other side, the Knights will look to shutdown the dangerous Holmes who has three tries and 39 tackle breaks so far this year.
Saifiti on return from suspension and Cowboys test
The Knights will look to break an eight-year drought having last beat the Cowboys in Townsville in 2015.
No. 7 Jackson Hastings leads the NRL for linebreak involvement with 8 this season.
Lachlan Miller leads the competition for most runs with 150, 16 more than second place.
For linebreaks this season, the Knights sit in 6th with 30 while the Cowboys are 9th with 28.