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Saturday 08 August 09:30

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Newcastle Knights vs Wests Tigers Live Stream

NRL ROUND 13

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS VS WESTS TIGERS

SATURDAY AUGUST 8, 5.30 PM, MCDONALD JONES STADIUM, NEWCASTLE

Coach McGuire will be grumpy after Wests poor efforts against an undermanned Warriors team that is in all sorts of trouble, in the difficult Covid-19 forced stretch away from their home country.  Newcastle, meanwhile, had the ever-tough task of beating the Storm last week and didn’t succeed, despite playing some decent Rugby League, and will be looking to once again bounce back with a win, in front of the few loyal supporters of theirs in Newcastle.  A win to Wests would narrow the gap between them and Newcastle to just 1 competition point, that vital draw against Penrith, which may well leave these two sides fighting for 8th, at least in the mid-to-late stages of the 20-round competition.  As with all east-coast games this Saturday, some blowy showers and rain is predicted, though by game-time it may have cleared, leaving the pitch heavy and a cool night.

The Knights acquired Green, in their reply to replace the Hookers who lost their seasons last week, with Mann tasked with the job, one which he has very little experience, leaving plenty of questions.  Fitzgibbon has to pass a head injury assessment before he can take the field, with Ese’ese likely to start if he fails, and Momoisea perhaps in line for a bench position. Best joins Moga and Randall on the sidelines, though he is forced due to injury, while the other pair were not selected, while Saulo is suspended also.  Coming into the side are Shibasaki and Toa who will start in a new-look Backline and Jones who takes a utility role on the bench.  The Tigers have been dealt a cruel blow with star rookie Hooker, Harry Grant out due to injury, while Twal is injured again and Clark is not selected.  Coming into the starting side are Eisenhuth at Lock, Leilua and Packer after suspensions, and McIntyre who replaces Garner.  Also, Mbye plays Hooker, Talau moves to Centre to accommodate debutant Kepaoa and Brooks is back in the Halves, with Walters and Lawrence moving to the pine.

Wests got the better of the Knights in two 2019 fixtures late in the season, winning at this venue by 2 in round 19, thanks to better goal-kicking from Mbye, despite trailing 12-0 after 10 minutes.  Then at Campbelltown, the Tigers scored an 8-tries-to-1 massacre of the Knights, including a special Nofaluma hattrick either side of Halftime.  Newcastle are still favourites despite all that at $1.60, while Wests are $2.35 with a margin prediction of a try.  Newcastle are dealing with fire, putting a centre-cum-half at Hooker and may get away with it, but it may also leave their Forwards wanting a specialist delivering the ball from dummy half, while the Tigers are doing something similar M’Bye has experience and success at rake.

PREDICTION: Wests to continue the theme from late last season when they enjoyed wins, and record a 10-12-point victory.

BETTING TIP: $3.50 for a 1-12 point win for Wests is nice odds.