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Newcastle's unbeaten streak has ended but they remain nicely perched in fourth place heading into round six.

Adam O'Brien's men lost no admirers in a 26-12 loss to Melbourne in which they threatened to produce an almighty second-half comeback.

This round they're up against a Broncos side that showed character to narrowly lose to Manly in round five after being shellacked 59-0 by the Roosters the week prior.

Brisbane have lost one young gun but are set to regain some heavy artillery as they aim to get their season back on course. 

New Knights hooker Andrew McCullough will face his former team for the first time after playing 260 matches for the Broncos.

The Rundown

Team News

Knights: Gehamat Shibasaki replaces Enari Tuala in the centres and Tim Glasby starts at lock, with Herman Ese'ese shifting to the bench. Lachlan Fitzgibbon returns from a hamstring injury in the second row, with Aidan Guerra moving to the bench and Brodie Jones out of the side. Pasami Saulo dropped off the extended bench on game day, while Phoenix Crossland and Starford Toa were cut from the squad 24 hours prior to kick-off. The Knights have won their past two games against the Broncos.

Broncos: New recruit Issac Luke comes into the game-day 17 for his club debut. Kotoni Staggs has been sidelined after suffering a hamstring injury at training on Sunday. Corey Oates goes back to the wing, Herbie Farnworth moves to centre to cover Staggs, Alex Glenn and Tevita Pangai jnr return in the second row and Joe Ofahengaue moves to the bench, with Rhys Kennedy out of the 17. Kennedy and Jamil Hopoate were omitted from the squad on Thursday night while Tesi Niu and Tom Dearden dropped out of the game-day squad. The Broncos have not scored after half-time in their past three games.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Knights is number 1 Kalyn Ponga
    Fullback for Broncos is number 1 Jamayne Isaako
  • Winger for Knights is number 2 Edrick Lee
    Winger for Broncos is number 2 Xavier Coates
  • Centre for Knights is number 4 Bradman Best
    Centre for Broncos is number 3 Herbie Farnworth
  • Centre for Knights is number 18 Gehamat Shibasaki
    Centre for Broncos is number 4 Darius Boyd
  • Winger for Knights is number 5 Hymel Hunt
    Winger for Broncos is number 5 Corey Oates
  • Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Kurt Mann
    Five-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Anthony Milford
  • Halfback for Knights is number 7 Mitchell Pearce
    Halfback for Broncos is number 7 Brodie Croft

Forwards

  • Prop for Knights is number 8 David Klemmer
    Prop for Broncos is number 8 Matthew Lodge
  • Hooker for Knights is number 9 Andrew McCullough
    Hooker for Broncos is number 18 Issac Luke
  • Prop for Knights is number 10 Daniel Saifiti
    Prop for Broncos is number 10 Payne Haas
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Lachlan Fitzgibbon
    2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 Alex Glenn
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Sione Mata'utia
    2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Tevita Pangai Junior
  • Lock for Knights is number 16 Tim Glasby
    Lock for Broncos is number 13 Patrick Carrigan

Interchange

  • Interchange for Knights is number 13 Herman Ese'ese
    Interchange for Broncos is number 9 Cory Paix
  • Interchange for Knights is number 14 Tex Hoy
    Interchange for Broncos is number 15 Ben Te'o
  • Interchange for Knights is number 15 Jacob Saifiti
    Interchange for Broncos is number 16 Joe Ofahengaue
  • Interchange for Knights is number 17 Aidan Guerra
    Interchange for Broncos is number 17 Thomas Flegler

Key Match-Up

Mitchell Pearce has got Newcastle humming, using his vast game-management experience to pull the strings. The opposite halfback, Brodie Croft, has shown glimpses of his best but may have been a tad disappointed last week as the Broncos didn't capitalise on an 18-point lead.