Knights v Roosters | Schick Preview
Schick Hyrdro preview: Newcastle Knights v Sydney Roosters
McDonald Jones Stadium
The Roosters will be out for redemption following last week's heavy loss to the Broncos but they won't have it their own way against a Knights side that pushed the Bulldogs to the very end in Round 6.
Newcastle could have easily won had a few things gone their way, but in the end several defensive lapses and some poor execution saw them fall 10 points short of their second win of the season.
It was a different story for the Roosters who were never really in the contest at Suncorp Stadium as the Tricolours slumped to their second loss on the trot and were exposed defensively by a Broncos side that wasn't afraid to throw the ball around.
Nathan Brown has named Danny Levi to start at hooker, pushing Jamie Buhrer to the back row and Joe Wardle to the bench.
Sam Stone has been listed on the interchange, although Luke Yates has been included in the 21-man squad.
Joseph Manu has replaced Latrell Mitchell at left centre after the 19-year-old was found out defensively a few times last week.
The Roosters could also welcome back Sio Siua Taukeiaho from a knee injury with the lock forward named on an extended bench.
Why the Knights can win: The Roosters were torn to shreds last week by Brisbane's speedy outside backs with Blake Ferguson missing seven tackles, while teammates Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Daniel Tupou (3 each) also struggled on their respective edges.
Expect the Knights to send plenty of traffic their way, especially given the in-form Dane Gagai (eight tackle breaks and a try last week) is set to square off against youngster Joseph Manu.
Why the Roosters can win: While they might have been defensively frail last week, the Roosters have had no such problems with ball in hand this season.
Trent Robinson's men are ranked first in the competition with 28 line breaks, while the Knights (17) are 16th after six rounds.
KEY MATCH-UP | BLAKE FERGUSON V DANE GAGAI
2 | TRIES | 1
6 | LINE BREAKS | 2
10 | TACKLE BREAKS | 32
381 | ALL METRES RUN | 714
The history: Played 48; Knights 19: Roosters 27; Drawn 2.
It's been one-way traffic in recent years with the Roosters winning six of the past seven meetings between the sides, including a 38-0 drubbing last season.
The Knights have failed to score a first-half point in their past three matches against the Tricolours.
Match officials: Referee: Gavin Badger. Assistant referee: Chris James. Sideline officials: Adam Reid and John Stone.
Televised: Fox Sports 2 – Live coverage from 6pm.
NRL.com predicts: The Knights showed last week that they can more than hold their own against the heavyweights of the Telstra Premiership so don't expect them to be overawed by a side that has dominated them in recent times.
That said, the Roosters will have plenty to prove after their disappointing exploits in Brisbane and should bounce back with a 16-point victory.
This article first appeared on NRL.COM