The equation is simple in this Saturday evening duel - the winner lives to fight another day while the loser will be done and dusted for 2019.
They have identical 9-12 records and neither team has set the world on fire lately.
The Knights broke a long losing streak with last week's big win over the Cowboys, but for a while in the second half they almost lost control of the game and should be thankful their opponents couldn't add to the scoreboard.
The Tigers are battling injuries to key players and are coming off a Round 22 road loss to Manly.
Match: Wests Tigers v Knights
Round 23 -
Venue: Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Sydney
Wests Tigers: Josh Reynolds will come off the bench, with Ryan Matterson switching to hooker and Matt Eisenhuth earning a start at lock. Luke Garner is back after a week's suspension. Paul Momirovski shifts to centre at the expense of Tommy Talau and Robert Jennings has been recalled as the starting winger. Chris Lawrence returns to the starting line-up, with Michael Chee Kam dropping to the bench. Thomas Mikaele has been named to start at prop, with Matt Eisenhuth back to the bench. Sam McIntyre was cut from the reserves list on Friday, while Tommy Talau and Chris McQueen were omitted an hour prior to kick-off.
Knights: A hamstring injury to centre Tautau Moga has given 18-year-old Bradman Best a chance to make his NRL debut. Danny Levi comes in at hooker to replace Connor Watson (knee), while Origin forward Tim Glasby has been elevated to the starting lineup after missing last weekend's game due to concussion protocols. Josh King moves to the bench, while Kurt Mann was named on the bench on Tuesday but has been omitted to make room for Glasby. Jamie Buhrer and Chris Randall were the last players cut before kick-off.
Match: Wests Tigers v Knights
Round 23 -
Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Corey ThompsonFullback for Knights is number 1 Kalyn Ponga
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 Robert JenningsWinger for Knights is number 2 Hymel Hunt
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Paul MomirovskiCentre for Knights is number 3 Sione Mata'utia
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Esan MarstersCentre for Knights is number 20 Bradman Best
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 David NofoalumaWinger for Knights is number 5 Shaun Kenny-Dowall
Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Benji MarshallFive-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Mason Lino
Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke BrooksHalfback for Knights is number 7 Mitchell Pearce
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Thomas MikaeleProp for Knights is number 8 David Klemmer
Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 13 Ryan MattersonHooker for Knights is number 9 Danny Levi
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Oliver ClarkProp for Knights is number 10 Daniel Saifiti
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Luke Garner2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Lachlan Fitzgibbon
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Chris Lawrence2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Mitchell Barnett
Lock for Wests Tigers is number 14 Matthew EisenhuthLock for Knights is number 21 Tim Glasby
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 9 Josh ReynoldsInterchange for Knights is number 13 Josh King
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Elijah TaylorInterchange for Knights is number 15 Herman Ese'ese
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Alex TwalInterchange for Knights is number 16 Jacob Saifiti
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Michael Chee-KamInterchange for Knights is number 17 Aidan Guerra
- Referee: Adam Gee
- Referee: Jon Stone
- Senior Review Official: Jared Maxwell
Benji Marshall has a tough battle on his hands against Newcastle halfback Mitchell Pearce, who scored two tries in a superb performance against the Cowboys. They both have loads of big-game experience and will be relied on heavily by their respective coaches to lead the way.
For the Tigers to win
Luke Brooks has to produce one of his best games of the season, while Marshall will also have to fire. The forwards need to aim up against the likes of Klemmer, Saifiti and Barnett, while Corey Thompson's input from the back will be crucial.
For the Knights to win
Someone will have to step up and provide the spark they will miss in Connor Watson's absence, while Ponga and Pearce have to pick up where they left off against the Cowboys. If the Knights can lay a solid platform up front, it should give Pearce and Ponga room to create. They also have to stop cooling off after hot starts.
Brett Kimmorley says
It’s a grinding game for the Tigers, unfortunately they are just running out of dummy halves. When Robbie Farah was so instrumental in what they do, it is hard to find Plan A or Plan B once he is out. Newcastle need to keep winning and see if they can sneak into the eight. Kalyn Ponga, Mitchell Pearce and Connor Watson were great for Newcastle last week. Watson is out this week but the other two need to repeat that form. Knights by 6
Pearce and Ponga stood out in last week's win, scoring two tries apiece and combining for 316 run metres, four line breaks, two line break assists and a try assist.
And another thing ...
In one of the most entertaining games of the season, the Tigers upstaged the Knights when they locked horns less than a month ago in Newcastle. After conceding two early tries, the Tigers scored three straight to lead 18-12 at half-time. Moses Mbye and Robbie Farah played key roles as the Tigers went on to win 28-26, but the pair will be missing on Saturday through injury.