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.
Match: Knights v Titans
Round 24 -
Venue: Sunshine Coast Stadium, Sunshine Coast
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.
Fullback for Knights is number 1 Kalyn PongaFullback for Titans is number 1 Jayden Campbell
Winger for Knights is number 2 Enari TualaWinger for Titans is number 2 Phillip Sami
Centre for Knights is number 3 Kurt MannCentre for Titans is number 3 Brian Kelly
Centre for Knights is number 4 Bradman BestCentre for Titans is number 4 Patrick Herbert
Winger for Knights is number 5 Hymel HuntWinger for Titans is number 5 Corey Thompson
Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Jake CliffordFive-Eighth for Titans is number 6 Tyrone Peachey
Halfback for Knights is number 7 Mitchell PearceHalfback for Titans is number 7 Jamal Fogarty
Prop for Knights is number 8 Sauaso SueProp for Titans is number 8 Jarrod Wallace
Hooker for Knights is number 9 Jayden BraileyHooker for Titans is number 9 Mitch Rein
Prop for Knights is number 10 Jacob SaifitiProp for Titans is number 10 Tino Fa'asuamaleaui
2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Tyson Frizell2nd Row for Titans is number 11 Kevin Proctor
2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Mitchell Barnett2nd Row for Titans is number 12 Beau Fermor
Lock for Knights is number 13 Connor WatsonLock for Titans is number 13 Sam McIntyre
Interchange for Knights is number 14 Brodie JonesInterchange for Titans is number 14 Erin Clark
Interchange for Knights is number 15 Chris RandallInterchange for Titans is number 15 David Fifita
Interchange for Knights is number 16 Josh KingInterchange for Titans is number 16 Moeaki Fotuaika
Interchange for Knights is number 17 Jirah MomoiseaInterchange for Titans is number 17 Jaimin Jolliffe
Reserve for Knights is number 19 Pasami SauloReserve for Titans is number 18 Toby Sexton
- Referee: Grant Atkins
- Touch Judge: Chris Butler
- Touch Judge: Chris Sutton
- Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein
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.
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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