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Knights v Wests Tigers: Ponga ruled out; Tamou to miss

The Knights should have a big home crowd on hand for their clash with Wests Tigers with supporters buoyed by their strong start to the season.

That 20-6 win over the more-fancied Roosters was arguably the team performance of the opening round, with the new halves pairing combining well and recruit Dane Gagai adding much-needed spark.

The Tigers can take plenty of positives of their own from a hard-fought 26-16 loss to another premiership heavyweght in the Storm, with the contest sitting at three tries apiece until the final 15 minutes.

Sportsbet Betting preview: Knights v Wests Tigers

The Rundown

Team news

Knights: A blow for the Knights on Saturday with skipper Kalyn Ponga ruled out after failing to recover from a knee injury suffered in the opening round. Tex Hoy takes over at fullback.

Daniel Saifiti (leg) was named among the reserves on Tuesday but dropped out of the squad on Saturday.

Wests Tigers: A setback for the Tigers on Saturday with co-captain James Tamou ruled out Alex Twal moving in to the front row and Thomas Mikaele joining the bench.

Tamou had been due to return from suspension.

Hooker Jake Simpkin has been named and is expected to be good to go despite hurting his shoulder against the Storm.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Knights is number 20 Tex Hoy
    Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Daine Laurie
  • Winger for Knights is number 2 Dominic Young
    Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
  • Centre for Knights is number 3 Dane Gagai
    Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 James Roberts
  • Centre for Knights is number 4 Bradman Best
    Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Oliver Gildart
  • Winger for Knights is number 5 Enari Tuala
    Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Ken Maumalo
  • Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Jake Clifford
    Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Jackson Hastings
  • Halfback for Knights is number 7 Adam Clune
    Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks

Forwards

  • Prop for Knights is number 10 Jacob Saifiti
    Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Stefano Utoikamanu
  • Hooker for Knights is number 9 Chris Randall
    Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jake Simpkin
  • Prop for Knights is number 15 Mitchell Barnett
    Prop for Wests Tigers is number 15 Alex Twal
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Tyson Frizell
    2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Kelma Tuilagi
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Lachlan Fitzgibbon
    2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua
  • Lock for Knights is number 13 Kurt Mann
    Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Joe Ofahengaue

Interchange

  • Interchange for Knights is number 14 Phoenix Crossland
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Tyrone Peachey
  • Interchange for Knights is number 16 Leo Thompson
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Zane Musgrove
  • Interchange for Knights is number 17 Jirah Momoisea
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Alex Seyfarth
  • Interchange for Knights is number 18 Mat Croker
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 18 Thomas Mikaele

Reserves

  • Replacement for Knights is number 21 Simi Sasagi
    Replacement for Wests Tigers is number 19 Luke Garner

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ben Cummins
  • Touch Judge: Darian Furner
  • Touch Judge: Chris Sutton
  • Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein

Last updated:

Key match-up

Jake Clifford v Jackson Hastings: Clifford was among the Knights' best in the opening win, handing over some of the direction to Adam Clune while kicking and running the ball well and nabbing a crucial try. Hastings has looked polished through the pre-season and again in round one, with limited opportunity, and he will need to continue to take pressure off Luke Brooks if the team is to have a strong season.

Stat attack

The Knights missed just 13 tackles of any team in round one, the fewest of any side. The Tigers weren't far behind: their 21 misses was fourth best. 

Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers respect and honour 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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