Wests Tigers will travel to Newcastle in a bid to claim their first win of the season when they face the Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Newcastle have started the 2021 campaign with wins against the Bulldogs and Warriors and will be looking to remain unbeaten, while Michael Maguire’s men will be eager to spoil Mitchell Pearce’s 300th NRL game as they look to bounce back from last Sunday’s heavy loss to the Sydney Roosters.
Wests Tigers will receive a massive boost with Maori representative forward Zane Musgrove selected for the encounter after serving his two-match ban for a shoulder charge in the All Stars game.
Musgrove — who will start at prop in Maguire’s side — will be eager to start his new season on a high after missing most of 2020 due to injury.
Five-eighth Adam Doueihi — who sat out in Round 1 through suspension — showed some positive signs in his first game of the season against the Roosters but will be looking to take his performance to a new level against the Knights this time around.
Liddle at his scheming best
Wests Tigers recruit Daine Laurie is another player who will be looking to maintain his momentum after again impressing against the Roosters. The young fullback ran for a team-high 180 metres and made nine tackle-breaks as he received his first ever Dally M point for a solid performance.
Speedy centre James Roberts has been named for the Round 3 match after being a late withdrawal ahead of last Sunday’s match due to a minor shoulder injury.
Maguire will be looking for a much-improved performance by his men on the left edge after they struggled in defence on a number of occasions against the Roosters.
The coach said he’ll consider making changes for the encounter and called upon his players to improve in Round 3.
Knights five-eighth Kurt Mann (knee) makes a swift return after his late withdrawal from the side to play the Warriors.
Mann's replacement Phoenix Crossland was suspended for a crusher tackle so uncapped playmaker Nathanael Sasagi has been named in the reserves.
With both clubs locked at 15 wins against each other, the winner of the match will go ahead on the historic standings.
Date — Sunday, March 28, 2020
Time — 4:05pm AEDT
Venue — McDonald Jones Stadium
LATEST TEAM NEWS
Wests Tigers: Unchanged from the side originally named during the week. Zane Musgrove returns from suspension to start at prop with Joe Ofahengaue dropping back to the bench, while James Roberts returns in place of Joey Leilua.
Newcastle Knights: Dominic Young will make his NRL debut in the centres following the withdrawal of Bradman Best due to an elbow injury. Young's promotion into the starting side sees Gehamat Shibasaki moved on to the wing.
Fullback for Knights is number 1 Tex HoyFullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Daine Laurie
Winger for Knights is number 5 Hymel HuntWinger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
Centre for Knights is number 3 Enari TualaCentre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Tommy Talau
Centre for Knights is number 32 Dominic YoungCentre for Wests Tigers is number 4 James Roberts
Winger for Knights is number 18 Gehamat ShibasakiWinger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Asu Kepaoa
Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Kurt MannFive-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Adam Doueihi
Halfback for Knights is number 7 Mitchell PearceHalfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks
Prop for Knights is number 8 David KlemmerProp for Wests Tigers is number 8 Zane Musgrove
Hooker for Knights is number 9 Jayden BraileyHooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jacob Liddle
Prop for Knights is number 10 Daniel SaifitiProp for Wests Tigers is number 10 James Tamou
2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Tyson Frizell2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Luke Garner
2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Mitchell Barnett2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua
Lock for Knights is number 14 Sauaso SueLock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Alex Twal
Interchange for Knights is number 13 Connor WatsonInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Joe Ofahengaue
Interchange for Knights is number 15 Jacob SaifitiInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Thomas Mikaele
Interchange for Knights is number 16 Josh KingInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Stefano Utoikamanu
Interchange for Knights is number 17 Brodie JonesInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Moses Mbye
- Referee: Gerard Sutton
- Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
- Touch Judge: Chris Butler
- Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara
1:40pm — Gates Open at McDonald Jones Stadium
1:45pm — KOE NSW Cup, Newcastle Knights vs. Western Suburbs Magpies
4:05pm — NRL, Newcastle Knights vs. Wests Tigers
TV, RADIO AND LIVE STREAM INFORMATION
TV — Live via Channel 9 (Sydney/Brisbane), GEM (Melbourne/Adelaide/Perth), FOX League (Ch.502)
Radio — AM 702 ABC Grandstand, AM 873 2GB, FM 104.9 Triple M
Live Stream — 9Now, KAYO Sports, Watch NRL (int.), Sky Sport 4 (NZ only)
LATEST NEDS ODDS
H2H — Wests Tigers ($3.10), Newcastle Knights ($1.36)
Line — Wests Tigers (+9.5) $2.00, Newcastle Knights (-9.5) $2.00
Head-to-Head — Played 30, Newcastle Knights 15, Wests Tigers 15
At McDonald Jones Stadium — Played 17, Newcastle Knights 9, Wests Tigers 8
Last Time They Met — Newcastle Knights 44 def. Wests Tigers 4 (Rd 13, 2020)
Referee — Gerard Sutton
Touch Judges — Belinda Sharpe & Chris Butler
Review Official — Henry Perenara