Wests Tigers will be looking to bring the magic when they return to Brisbane for the first of eight games at Suncorp Stadium this Magic Round.
Michael Maguire’s men will kickoff the festival of football with a Friday night clash against the Newcastle Knights.
Having already beaten the Knights in Round 3 this season, Wests Tigers will be aiming to make it two wins from two games against their Novocastrian counterparts in 2021.
Maguire has called on his players for more consistency after recording an impressive victory in Round 8 against St George Illawarra before falling to the Gold Coast Titans last weekend.
Wests Tigers have good memories from Magic Round, having dominated Penrith 30-4 at Suncorp Stadium during the first Magic Round weekend, however last year’s event was cancelled due to COVID-19.
The Knights will also be looking to repeat their Magic Round success this week, after they toppled the Bulldogs 22-10 in 2019.
Coach Adam O'Brien was dealt a late injury blow with star halfback Kalyn Ponga joining Mitchell Pearce on the sidelines. Ponga's omission sees Tex Hoy move to fullback, who played against Wests Tigers in Round 3.
LATEST TEAM NEWS
Wests Tigers: Coach Michael Maguire has revamped his spine, switching Adam Doueihi to centre and Moses Mbye five-eighth while Jacob Liddle regains the starting dummy-half role with Jake Simpkin dropping back to the extended bench. Shawn Blore and rookie halfback Jock Madden have been named on the interchange which relegates young prop Stefano Utoikamanu to the reserves. Winger Tommy Talau returns from his one-game suspension.
Newcastle Knights: Kalyn Ponga will not suit up for Magic Round after being ruled out with a hip injury. Newcastle coach Adam O'Brien confirmed on Thursday that the Queensland representative would be sidelined with Tex Hoy coming into the side at fullback for the trip to Brisbane. Starford To'a retains his place on the other wing after his late call-up to take the place of Hymel Hunt (hamstring), who returns to the side in place of Brayden Musgrove.
Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Daine LaurieFullback for Knights is number 20 Tex Hoy
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David NofoalumaWinger for Knights is number 2 Starford To'a
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Adam DoueihiCentre for Knights is number 3 Enari Tuala
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Joseph LeiluaCentre for Knights is number 4 Bradman Best
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Tommy TalauWinger for Knights is number 18 Hymel Hunt
Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Moses MbyeFive-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Kurt Mann
Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke BrooksHalfback for Knights is number 7 Phoenix Crossland
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 James TamouProp for Knights is number 8 David Klemmer
Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jacob LiddleHooker for Knights is number 9 Jayden Brailey
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Alex TwalProp for Knights is number 10 Daniel Saifiti
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Luke Garner2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Tyson Frizell
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Lachlan Fitzgibbon
Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Joe OfahengaueLock for Knights is number 13 Mitchell Barnett
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Jock MaddenInterchange for Knights is number 14 Connor Watson
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Shawn BloreInterchange for Knights is number 15 Jacob Saifiti
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Alex SeyfarthInterchange for Knights is number 16 Sauaso Sue
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Thomas MikaeleInterchange for Knights is number 17 Brodie Jones
Reserve for Wests Tigers is number 18 Michael Chee KamReserve for Knights is number 19 Josh King
- Referee: Grant Atkins
- Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
- Touch Judge: Keiren Irons
- Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein
Date — Friday, 15th May, 2021
Time — 6:00pm AEST
Venue — Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
TV, RADIO AND LIVE STREAM INFORMATION
TV — FOX League (Ch.502)
Radio — AM 702 ABC Grandstand, FM 104.9 Triple M, AM 1170 NRL Nation
Live Stream — KAYO Sports, Watch NRL (int.), Sky Sport 4 (NZ only)
LATEST NEDS ODDS
Head-to-Head — Wests Tigers ($1.52), Newcastle Knights ($2.50)
Line — Wests Tigers +4.5 ($2.00), Newcastle Knights -4.5 (2.00)
Head-to-Head — Played 32, Wests Tigers 16, Newcastle Knights 15, Draw 1
Last Time They Met —Wests Tigers 24 def. Newcastle Knights 20 (Rd.3, 2021)
Referee — Grant Atkins
Touch Judges — Phil Henderson & Keiren Irons
Bunker Review Official — Ashley Klein