Round 9 Preview: Knights vs Rabbitohs



 
Image - NRL.com 
Newcastle Knights vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
MacDonald Jones Stadium
Friday, May 5th, 2018
6:00pm AEST

Team Lists:
Knights:
1 Kalyn Ponga
2 Ken Sio
3 Sione Mata'utia
4 Nathan Ross
5 Shaun Kenny-Dowall
6 Connor Watson
7 Jack Cogger
8 Herman Ese'ese
9 Slade Griffin
10 Daniel Saifiti
11 Lachlan Fitzgibbon
12 Aidan Guerra (c)
13 Mitchell Barnett
Interchange:
14 Jamie Buhrer (c)
15 Chris Heighington
16 Luke Yates
17 Jacob Saifiti
Reserves:
18 Cory Dennis
19 Jacob Lillyman

Rabbitohs:
1 Alex Johnston
2 Campbell Graham
3 Greg Inglis (c)
4 Dane Gagai,
 Robert Jennings
6 Cody Walker
7 Adam Reynolds
8 Thomas Burgess
9 Damien Cook
10 George Burgess
11 John Sutton
12 Angus Crichton
13 Cameron Murray
Interchange:
14 Adam Doueihi
15 Mark Nicholls,
16 Jason Clark
17 Tevita Tatola
Reserves: 
19 Hymel Hunt
21 Kyle Turner

Match Preview:
7th vs 8th. These are the games I love, the games I love for, and in my opinion, the best of all! We have two teams who have just fought their way into the top 8, and they will be hoping to stay there!

The Knights who are on a roll despite losing star signing Mitchell Pearce will be looking to keep it going. They have picked up their intensity and are starting to show a lot of consistency in their game. Obviously the loss of Pearce will eventually start taking a toll, and I personally feel a drop coming for the Knights, but until then they have proved their worth as a top 8 team, and with some of the young stars really standing up, you just never know with this Knights team.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs are just like the Knights. They have lifted their game dramatically and are really starting to become a contender. They are also starting to become consistent, and some star players are really starting to fire! The Rabbitohs who were are roll over team have seen all players lift up their individual performances and they have pulled out some seriously big games. Keep an eye on the Rabbits, because if this keeps on, they’ll be there in September, and will be a serious threat!

Key Match Ups.

Forward Pack Showdown.

The Souths forward pack has been known to be one of the softest and least aggressive forward packs in the last few years. Especially the Burgess boys who have copped it! This year but... damn, they are on fire! 

The Knights forwards have been their biggest lift, but also their biggest downfall at times. They have won them games, and lost them games. Some of these young guns for the Knights pack have been amazing to watch but, and I don’t see that stopping.

Adam Reynolds vs Connor Watson.

Since coming back from his injury, Reynolds has been one of the best halves in the game. His control and leadership is the most notable part. I really don’t know how he’s not in the Origin discussion...

A young gun with a huge role! Who knew Watson’s return from injury would be straight in to fill the jersey left my Mitchell Pearce. Since filling the #6 jersey he’s been good, great at times, but boy does he have a lot of pressure on him.

Alex Johnston vs Kalyn Ponga.

Many people came into this season saying Johnston ain’t a fullback. He’s had a rough time developing to the role, and even Souths fans were doubting him. 2018 has been the year for him but, sure he’s not one of the best fullbacks out, but boy is he starting to warm to the position!

Kalyn Ponga.... that’s really all I need to say. Signing of the year? Most likely! He’s leading the Dally M Medal points tally, and it seems like every time the Knights win, he gets the 3 points. He’s single handed won so many games for them this season already, and if they are gonna stay in the top 8, it’ll be off the back of this kid.

Prediction: Rabbitohs by 18.

Yeah I’m sorry Knights fans, but I don’t see this being a close game for you guys. The Knights have been impressive, and will continue to be, but I just don’t see the Knights pack being able to hand the form of the Rabbitohs pack. The experience of the Rabbitohs backs will get them home too.

-Stonecold.



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