After a couple of wins in the opening fortnight of the season the Newcastle Knights have suffered back-to-back defeats, and are up against a Brisbane Broncos side also desperate to bounce back.
With an almost entirely new roster, the Knights have shown that they are not an easy team to beat and that they can win games against good sides.
The Broncos meanwhile were stunned by local rivals the Gold Coast Titans on Sunday and will likely have Corey Oates and Tevita Pangai jnr available again his week.
Match: Knights v Broncos
Round 5 -
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
Newcastle Knights v Brisbane Broncos, 7.35pm Saturday at McDonald Jones Stadium
Knights: 1 Kalyn Ponga, 2 Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 3 Sione Mata'utia, 4 Nathan Ross, 5 Ken Sio, 6 Brock Lamb, 7 Mitchell Pearce (c), 8 Herman Ese'ese, 9 Slade Griffin, 10 Jacob Lillyman, 11 Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12 Aidan Guerra, 13 Mitchell Barnett
Interchange: 14 Jamie Buhrer (c), 15 Chris Heighington, 17 Daniel Saifiti, 20 Danny Levi
Danny Levi replaces Jacob Saifiti on the bench in a late change. Following the shattering news Tautau Moga has suffered another ACL injury, Nathan Ross moves to centre and Ken Sio comes in on the wing.
Broncos: 1 Darius Boyd (c), 2 Corey Oates, 3 James Roberts, 4 Jack Bird, 5 Jamayne Isaako, 6 Anthony Milford, 7 Kodi Nikorima, 8 Matthew Lodge, 9 Andrew McCullough, 19 Tevita Pangai jnr, 17 Jaydn Su'A, 12 Matt Gillett, 13 Josh McGuire
Interchange: 10 Korbin Sims, 14 Sam Thaiday, 15 Joe Ofahengaue, 16 Tom Opacic.
Tevita Pangai jnr and Jaydn Su'A start for the Broncos with Korbin Sims moving back to the bench and Alex Glenn dropping out of the side. Corey Oates returns on the wing.
Head-to-head: Played 47; Broncos 33 wins; Knights 13 wins; 1 draw
Matches at venue: Played 26; Broncos 16 wins; Knights 9 wins; 1 draw
2017 results: Broncos won 34-22 at McDonald Jones Stadium in round 19
Points per game: Knights 17.3; Broncos 14.8
Points conceded per game: Knights 28.5; Broncos 21.8
Televised: Live on Fox League