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The Knights look all but assured of a top-eight finish after they took care of business against the Bulldogs and a number of teams in the chasing pack on 20 points were beaten.

Despite a stack of injuries and a horrible points differential, Adam O'Brien's men are in the box after reeling off four straight wins while the Titans pushed Melbourne on Thursday night before being overrun by the reigning premiers in the second half.

Of the three teams locked on 20 competition points the Titans' differential of -46 puts them just behind Cronulla (-32) and ahead of the Raiders (-85) so a win here would go a long way towards securing Justin Holbrook's men a first finals berth since 2016.

The rundown

Team news

Knights: The Knights are 1-17 with no late changes.

Phoenix Crossland was the last man cut an hour before kick-off and Pasami Saulo is 18th man.

Jack Johns has a shoulder issue and dropped out of the extended squad on Wednesday along with Simi Sasagi.

David Klemmer entered an early guilty plea on a contrary conduct charge arising from the win over the Bulldogs and will miss one game. His place in the front row is taken by Sauaso Sue.

Tyson Frizell returns from a one-game ban in the second row so Brodie Jones reverts to the bench.

The Knights have won five from five with Jake Clifford and Mitchell Pearce in the halves.

Titans: The Titans will line up 1-17.

Kevin Proctor (shoulder) came through training on Wednesday and is good to go while Moeaki Fotuakia (knee) retrurns after missing last week's match.

Esan Marsters and Greg Marzhew were cut from the squad 24 hours before kick-off and Sam Lisone was the last player omitted an hour before kick-off. Toby Sexton is 18th man.

The Titans have won five of their past seven games against the Knights.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Knights is number 1 Kalyn Ponga
    Fullback for Titans is number 1 Jayden Campbell
  • Winger for Knights is number 2 Enari Tuala
    Winger for Titans is number 2 Phillip Sami
  • Centre for Knights is number 3 Kurt Mann
    Centre for Titans is number 3 Brian Kelly
  • Centre for Knights is number 4 Bradman Best
    Centre for Titans is number 4 Patrick Herbert
  • Winger for Knights is number 5 Hymel Hunt
    Winger for Titans is number 5 Corey Thompson
  • Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Jake Clifford
    Five-Eighth for Titans is number 6 Tyrone Peachey
  • Halfback for Knights is number 7 Mitchell Pearce
    Halfback for Titans is number 7 Jamal Fogarty

Forwards

  • Prop for Knights is number 8 Sauaso Sue
    Prop for Titans is number 8 Jarrod Wallace
  • Hooker for Knights is number 9 Jayden Brailey
    Hooker for Titans is number 9 Mitch Rein
  • Prop for Knights is number 10 Jacob Saifiti
    Prop for Titans is number 10 Tino Fa'asuamaleaui
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Tyson Frizell
    2nd Row for Titans is number 11 Kevin Proctor
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Mitchell Barnett
    2nd Row for Titans is number 12 Beau Fermor
  • Lock for Knights is number 13 Connor Watson
    Lock for Titans is number 13 Sam McIntyre

Interchange

  • Interchange for Knights is number 14 Brodie Jones
    Interchange for Titans is number 14 Erin Clark
  • Interchange for Knights is number 15 Chris Randall
    Interchange for Titans is number 15 David Fifita
  • Interchange for Knights is number 16 Josh King
    Interchange for Titans is number 16 Moeaki Fotuaika
  • Interchange for Knights is number 17 Jirah Momoisea
    Interchange for Titans is number 17 Jaimin Jolliffe

Reserves

  • Reserve for Knights is number 19 Pasami Saulo
    Reserve for Titans is number 18 Toby Sexton

Match Officials

  • Referee: Grant Atkins
  • Touch Judge: Chris Butler
  • Touch Judge: Chris Sutton
  • Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein

Last updated:

Key match-up

He's been used in the middle and on an edge this season but Mitch Barnett remains one of Newcastle's most consistent performers, and all-action back-rower who has posted career-high numbers for run metres, tackle breaks and tackles this season.

Meanwhile consistency is the one attribute that's been lacking in superstar Titans second-rower David Fifita, arguably the most dominant ball-runner in the league with the most tackle busts in the NRL and the most tries of any forward. If Fifita is kept quiet like he has been in recent weeks the Titans could struggle, but if he's on his game the Knights could find themselves in big trouble.

Stat attack

These teams have met four times in the past three years and none of the games have been close. The Titans won comprehensively on three occasions on the Gold Coast (38-14, 36-6 and 42-16) while the Knights easily won the other match in Newcastle (38-4). This match is technically a Knights home game but the ramifications of COVID-19 mean it's taking place on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, giving the edge to the official "visitors". 

 

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