The Cowboys return home to Queensland Country Bank Stadium having strung three wins in a row and will fancy their chances against a Knights outfit who haven't scored a try in two games.
North Queensland have been the surprise packets of the 2022 season so far with halves Chad Townsend and Tom Dearden clicking behind a forward pack led by Cowboys powerhouse Jason Taumalolo, who has found his groove.
Newcastle are reeling after heavy back-to-back defeats on home turf and on the back of a six-game losing streak, they now find themselves on the bottom of the ladder.
Injuries have hit the Knights with a host of stars due back in the next month but with a 2-6 start, Adam O'Brien's side need to find something in attack and defence before their season officially slips away.
Making matters more challenging, the Cowboys hold a five-game winning streak over the Knights in Townsville since 2015.
Sportsbet Betting preview: Cowboys v Knights
Cowboys: Reuben Cotter and Tom Gilbert earned starts against the Eels and will d so again on home turf, with Cowboys coach Todd Payten sticking with the side named earlier in the week. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow is confirmed to come off the bench after a super-sub effort last week.
Knights: Tyson Frizell is a massive loss for the Knights, with Jack Johns to start in the secondrow and Nathanael Sasagi promoted to the interchange. Tex Hoy replaces Jake Clifford in the halves but could shift back to fullback on game day, with Kalyn Ponga coming into five-eighth. Lachlan Fitzgibbon and Dom Young have been cleared to return from knee injuries in a boost for the visitors and will take their place for Saturday's game.
Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Scott DrinkwaterFullback for Knights is number 1 Kalyn Ponga
Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle FeldtWinger for Knights is number 2 Edrick Lee
Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Valentine HolmesCentre for Knights is number 3 Enari Tuala
Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Peta HikuCentre for Knights is number 4 Bradman Best
Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Murray TaulagiWinger for Knights is number 5 Dominic Young
Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Tom DeardenFive-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Tex Hoy
Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Chad TownsendHalfback for Knights is number 7 Phoenix Crossland
Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Jordan McLeanProp for Knights is number 8 David Klemmer
Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece RobsonHooker for Knights is number 9 Chris Randall
Prop for Cowboys is number 10 Reuben CotterProp for Knights is number 10 Daniel Saifiti
2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Tom Gilbert2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Lachlan Fitzgibbon
2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Jeremiah Nanai2nd Row for Knights is number 14 Jack Johns
Lock for Cowboys is number 13 Jason TaumaloloLock for Knights is number 13 Leo Thompson
Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Hamiso Tabuai-FidowInterchange for Knights is number 15 Jacob Saifiti
Interchange for Cowboys is number 15 Heilum LukiInterchange for Knights is number 16 Mat Croker
Interchange for Cowboys is number 16 Coen HessInterchange for Knights is number 17 Pasami Saulo
Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Griffin NeameInterchange for Knights is number 18 Simi Sasagi
Replacement for Cowboys is number 19 Jake GranvilleReplacement for Knights is number 21 Brayden Musgrove
- Referee: Liam Kennedy
- Touch Judge: Jon Stone
- Senior Review Official: Gerard Sutton
Valentine Holmes v Enari Tuala: The battle of the centres will be a highlight for the match with Maroons representative Holmes lining up against former Cowboy Tuala in the centres. It's the first time Tuala has played in the centres since round 18, 2021, while Holmes is continuing to learn his trade in the role after a permanent switch this year.
Newcastle's inability to score points has been well-documented in recent weeks and it all starts in the middle. The Knights have had two strong seasons with their forward pack punching out huge numbers but injuries and suspensions are playing a big part in the lack of yardage this year. Newcastle's 11,254 metres from eight rounds ranks 14th in the competition with middle men David Klemmer, Daniel Saifiti and Jacob Saifiti struggling to replicate their efforts from previous seasons. The Cowboys have no such struggle with the side ranked third in the competition for yardage overall.
Match: Cowboys v Knights
Round 9 -
Venue: Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville