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Newcastle and Melbourne clash for the 45th time on Sunday and if recent results are anything to go by, the Knights won't want to show up with the same attitude they did on home turf last week.

The usually-proud Hunter faithful were left reeling after the Knights produced their poorest performance of the year to go down 39-2 to the Eels.

Their attack has been an issue for the better part of 18 months but none more so than against an Eels outfit who in return strolled over the line last week in a defensive display that left Adam O'Brien apologising after the siren.

The Storm, well, the complete opposite for them. Their 70-point showing against the Warriors was fascinating to watch with 56 of those points coming in one half of football for an NRL record.

Melbourne took advantage of lazy defence against the Warriors in the final 30 minutes, something the Knights were guilty of throughout their recent loss.

Former Knight Josh King will be one player looking forward to getting back to McDonald Jones Stadium after leaving the club last year.

King has made the No.13 jersey his own after the departure of Dale Finucane to Cronulla in the off-season.

Melbourne have won their last 10 matches against the Knights, including a 48-4 result last season.

Sportsbet Betting preview: Knights v Storm

The Rundown

Team news

Knights: Kurt Mann is out so Sauaso Sue goes to lock with Jack Johns added to the bench. Tex Hoy played reserve grade on Sunday with Pasami Saulo coming in as 18th man. Brodie Jones will play despite concerns around an elbow injury.

Storm: The are no changes to the run-on side but a minor tweak on the bench with Chris Lewis moving back to 18th man and Tyran Wishart listed back in the No.15 jersey. Reimis Smith is fit and will take his place in the side. 

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Knights is number 1 Kalyn Ponga
    Fullback for Storm is number 1 Ryan Papenhuyzen
  • Winger for Knights is number 2 Edrick Lee
    Winger for Storm is number 2 Nick Meaney
  • Centre for Knights is number 3 Simi Sasagi
    Centre for Storm is number 3 Reimis Smith
  • Centre for Knights is number 4 Bradman Best
    Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
  • Winger for Knights is number 5 Enari Tuala
    Winger for Storm is number 5 Xavier Coates
  • Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Jake Clifford
    Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
  • Halfback for Knights is number 7 Adam Clune
    Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes


  • Prop for Knights is number 8 David Klemmer
    Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
  • Hooker for Knights is number 9 Chris Randall
    Hooker for Storm is number 9 Harry Grant
  • Prop for Knights is number 10 Daniel Saifiti
    Prop for Storm is number 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Tyson Frizell
    2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Brodie Jones
    2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
  • Lock for Knights is number 17 Sauaso Sue
    Lock for Storm is number 13 Josh King


  • Interchange for Knights is number 14 Phoenix Crossland
    Interchange for Storm is number 14 Brandon Smith
  • Interchange for Knights is number 15 Jacob Saifiti
    Interchange for Storm is number 15 Tyran Wishart
  • Interchange for Knights is number 16 Leo Thompson
    Interchange for Storm is number 16 Trent Loiero
  • Interchange for Knights is number 19 Jack Johns
    Interchange for Storm is number 17 Tepai Moeroa


  • Replacement for Knights is number 21 Pasami Saulo
    Replacement for Storm is number 18 Chris Lewis

Match Officials

  • Referee: Liam Kennedy
  • Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
  • Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins

Last updated:

Key match-up

Kalyn Ponga v Ryan Papenhuyzen: If blokes like James Tedesco and Tom Trbojevic didn't exist, these two fullbacks could be battling it out in the Origin arena more often than not. Once teammates at the Junior Kangaroos level in 2019, Ponga and Papenhuyzen are at similiar stages in their career but the Storm fullback has a lot more accolades and individual achievements to show for it. Ponga was enormous against the Dragons but was part of a non-existent Knights attacking system last week. It's no secret if the Knights are going to get close then Ponga needs to fire and they'll need to shut down Papenhuyzen at the back.

Stat attack

Melbourne's carries out of dummy half are setting the tone in their attack with 89 the most in the competition so far. Storm hooker Harry Grant (44) is the main architect in that area and unbelievably has had almost more runs from there than Newcastle's 45 overall (which ranks them 15th in the competition). The Knights were always going to struggle without the services of Jayden Brailey for the first half of the year and will need to be on alert for more Storm damage on Sunday.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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