Tim Simona v Dane Gagai
Tim Simona has never lost a game to the Newcastle Knights (two from two), having missed the 22-12 loss in Round 10 through injury. The Samoan International is closing in on a personal achievement this year - his most NRL appearances in one season - with tomorrow’s game set to be his 17th, which will equal his 2013 record.
Moving from centre to fullback mid-game last week against the Roosters, Dane Gagai provided plenty of spark in attack as the Knights stormed back into the match in the second half. The Queensland representative has been named at centre, but don’t be surprised to see him slot in at fullback again tomorrow in a swap with Jake Mamo.
With 21 line-breaks between the pair this season, the clash between Simona and Gagai looks set to be one of the highlights in this game at Campbelltown Sports Stadium. With prolific try-scorers Pat Richards and Aku Uate waiting on outside on the wing – this is an important tussle between Simona and Gagai.
Career Head-to-Head clashes: Played 1 – Simona 1, Gagai 0
NRL Fantasy Prices: Simona $185,000 (Season: -$64,000; Average: 29.3), Gagai $259,000 (Season: -$60,000; Average: 39.3)
Saturday footy returns to Campbelltown on August 15 when we take on the Newcastle Knights! Click here to get your tickets!
Dene Halatau v Tariq Sims
It was a huge performance from Dene Halatau on Monday night against Canberra - his first 80-minute game of the year. The former New Zealand International made a season-high tackle-count against the Raiders with a whopping 37 tackles. Look out for a strong performance from Halatau as he looks to break a five-game personal losing streak against Newcastle (one with Wests Tigers, four with Canterbury).
One of the Knights’ key recruits leading into this season, Tariq Sims has started to find his feet after somewhat of a slow start to the year. The former Cowboy has made over 100 metres in five of his past six games – including a 140-metre effort last week against the Roosters. The return of Kade Snowden sees the 25-year-old move from prop back to his preferred position in the second row.
While both forward packs possess a host of other impressive players, the battle between Halatau and Sims could be a decisive one between two key men. Both players have come off impressive performances last weekend and will be desperate to lead their respective sides to victory.
Career Head-to-Head clashes: Played 5 – Halatau 2, Sims 3
NRL Fantasy Prices: Halatau $217,000 (Season: +$33,000; Average: 54.0), Sims $332,000 (Season: -$41,000; Average: 44.9)
Saturday footy returns to Campbelltown on August 15 when we take on the Knights!
Kevin Naiqama v Sione Mata’utia
Kevin Naiqama comes into this game under an injury cloud, however the former Newcastle Knight will be desperate to line-up against his old teammates. The Fijian International spent three seasons at the Knights, however played just 15 NRL games in the red and blue. Naiqama is one of just three Wests Tigers players to have played all 20 matches this season.
While Sione Mata’utia has only crossed the line three times this season, the 19-year-old has averaged 128 metres per game – and that’s despite making just one line-break in 2015. The Australian representative is coming off an impressive performance against the Roosters last week with 164 metres, one try and his one (and only) line-break.
Both Naiqama and Mata’utia are dangerous attacking footballers, so their match-up on the edge is one to look out for. A lot will depend on the amount of quality ball they receive – however don’t be surprised to see one of these names on the scoresheet come full-time.
Career Head-to-Head clashes: Played 1 – Naiqama 0, Mata’utia 1
NRL Fantasy Prices: Naiqama $211,000 (Season: -$97,000; Average: 26.4), Mata’utia $217,000 (Season: -$83,000; Average: 27.9)