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Penrith and Newcastle were two of the undefeated surprise packets in the first two weeks of the 2020 Telstra Premiership.

The Panthers upset the Roosters in round one and then came from behind to knock over the Dragons at Kogarah.

Under new coach Adam O'Brien, the Knights kicked off their finals campaign with a 20-0 victory over the Warriors and a thumping triumph over the Wests Tigers.

The Rundown

Team news

Panthers: Centre Brent Naden was omitted an hour before kick-off with Stephen Crichton (No.14) to start in his position. Along with Naden, Charlie Staines was dropped from the squad 60 minutes before the match. Matt Burton replaces Nathan Cleary (suspended, round five) in the halves, Kurt Capewell (quad) returns to the pack with Zane Tetevano shifting to the bench, James Fisher-Harris moving to prop and Isaah Yeo to lock. Liam Martin (leg injury) and Kaide Ellis were omitted 24 hours before kick-off, with Billy Burns promoted from the reserves to the bench. The Panthers have won seven of their past eight games against the Knights.

Knights: Boom centre Bradman Best (No.18) will start the match, with Gehamat Shibasaki joining Mason Lino as the two players left out an hour before the start of play. Lachlan Fitzgibbon was ruled out on Saturday, with Aidan Guerra to start in the second row. Pasami Saulo also dropped off the extended bench on Saturday. Connor Watson will start at hooker with Jayden Brailey injured and new signing Andrew McCullough not included in the squad. The Knights are aiming for a 3-0 start for the first time since 2015.

Debutant fullback Tex Hoy will assume the goal-kicking duties as well as suspended star Kalyn Ponga's No.1 jersey. "Tex will kick," O'Brien said on Friday. "He's done a really good job. He's been consistent, yeah the consistent strike of the ball. I'm confident in Tex doing that and so is he."

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Caleb Aekins
    Fullback for Knights is number 1 Tex Hoy
  • Winger for Panthers is number 2 Josh Mansour
    Winger for Knights is number 2 Edrick Lee
  • Centre for Panthers is number 3 Dean Whare
    Centre for Knights is number 3 Enari Tuala
  • Centre for Panthers is number 14 Stephen Crichton
    Centre for Knights is number 18 Bradman Best
  • Winger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'o
    Winger for Knights is number 5 Hymel Hunt
  • Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Matt Burton
    Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Kurt Mann
  • Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Jarome Luai
    Halfback for Knights is number 7 Mitchell Pearce

Forwards

  • Prop for Panthers is number 8 James Tamou
    Prop for Knights is number 8 David Klemmer
  • Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Apisai Koroisau
    Hooker for Knights is number 9 Connor Watson
  • Prop for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
    Prop for Knights is number 10 Daniel Saifiti
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau
    2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Sione Mata'utia
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Kurt Capewell
    2nd Row for Knights is number 17 Aidan Guerra
  • Lock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo
    Lock for Knights is number 16 Tim Glasby

Interchange

  • Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Zane Tetevano
    Interchange for Knights is number 13 Herman Ese'ese
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Moses Leota
    Interchange for Knights is number 14 Chris Randall
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 18 Mitch Kenny
    Interchange for Knights is number 15 Jacob Saifiti
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 19 Billy Burns
    Interchange for Knights is number 19 Brodie Jones