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Three late tries couldn't rescue the Wests Tigers from a seventh loss for the season last weekend, while the Knights are riding high after a come-from-behind win over the Raiders.

The contrasting fortunes for both clubs still bring them to Brisbane with some momentum. The Wests Tigers scored five tries and the Knights four in their round nine clashes.

Maybe the pressure of not having to try to live up to the great Tommy Raudonikis's legacy will help this week.

The Wests Tigers lost their way at Leichhardt Oval against the Cowboys in round five just days after his death, and then fell short against the Titans at Campbelltown Stadium last weekend after another Raudonikis tribute. 

The Knights will be looking for a repeat Magic Round success this week, after they toppled the Bulldogs 22-10 at Suncorp Stadium in 2019 - the win coming in the midst of a six-game streak.

The rundown

Team news

Tigers: The Tigers will line up 1-17 as named with Stefano Utoikamanu the last man to drop out of the squad and Michael Chee Kam 18th man.

Coach Michael Maguire has revamped his spine, switching Adam Doueihi to centre and Moses Mbye five-eighth while Jacob Liddle wins back the starting role at No.9.

Back-rower Shawn Blore and halfback Jock Madden have been named on the interchange. Madden makes his NRL debut.

Winger Tommy Talau returns from suspension to oust rookie Zac Cini, whose dream debut turned into a second-game nightmare against the Gold Coast last week.

Deposed dummy-half Jake Simpkin and Tom Amone were the first cuts 24 hours out from the round 10 opener.

Wests Tigers' defensive record after nine rounds is the worst in the club’s history.

Knights: A late change an hour before kick-off with Hymel Hunt back from a hamstring injury on the wing in jersey 18. Brayden Musgrove drops out. Josh King is 18th man.

Kalyn Ponga will not suit up for Magic Round after being ruled out with a hip injury.

Newcastle coach Adam O'Brien confirmed on Thursday that the Queensland representative would be sidelined with Tex Hoy coming into the side at fullback for the trip to Brisbane.

Simi Sasagi was the other player to drop out of the squad on Thursday.

Edrick Lee (foot) is still waiting to make his return from injury. 

Back-rower Mitch Barnett will make his 100th NRL appearance.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Daine Laurie
    Fullback for Knights is number 20 Tex Hoy
  • Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
    Winger for Knights is number 2 Starford To'a
  • Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Adam Doueihi
    Centre for Knights is number 3 Enari Tuala
  • Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Joseph Leilua
    Centre for Knights is number 4 Bradman Best
  • Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Tommy Talau
    Winger for Knights is number 18 Hymel Hunt
  • Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Moses Mbye
    Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Kurt Mann
  • Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks
    Halfback for Knights is number 7 Phoenix Crossland

Forwards

  • Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 James Tamou
    Prop for Knights is number 8 David Klemmer
  • Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jacob Liddle
    Hooker for Knights is number 9 Jayden Brailey
  • Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Alex Twal
    Prop for Knights is number 10 Daniel Saifiti
  • 2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Luke Garner
    2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Tyson Frizell
  • 2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua
    2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Lachlan Fitzgibbon
  • Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Joe Ofahengaue
    Lock for Knights is number 13 Mitchell Barnett

Interchange

  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Jock Madden
    Interchange for Knights is number 14 Connor Watson
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Shawn Blore
    Interchange for Knights is number 15 Jacob Saifiti
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Alex Seyfarth
    Interchange for Knights is number 16 Sauaso Sue
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Thomas Mikaele
    Interchange for Knights is number 17 Brodie Jones

Reserves

  • Reserve for Wests Tigers is number 18 Michael Chee Kam
    Reserve for Knights is number 19 Josh King

Match Officials

  • Referee: Grant Atkins
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Touch Judge: Keiren Irons
  • Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein

Last updated:

Key match-up

Daine Laurie v Tex Hoy: The dancing footwork and elusive running of Laurie and Ponga's replacement, Hoy, should provide a fair chunk of the entertainment in this game, plus influence the point-scoring.

Laurie has four tries and 41 tackle busts this season while Hoy has done a solid job when called upon to fill on for Ponga, who made eight tackle busts of his own in last week's come-from-behind win against the Raiders.

Stat attack

The Knights are averaging 17.9 games per game in 2021, just a tick ahead of the Tigers with 17.6 per match, suggesting a tight contest is on the cards.

Both are well shy of big guns Melbourne (32.4 points per game), Eels 28.9, Panthers 28.9 and Roosters 28.2.

 

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