In what is bound to be another classic in the Hunter, Saturday night will be the first road trip to Newcastle for the Tricolours since 2019, who await a hungry Knights outfit eager to gain some consistency after an up and down start to the season.
Recent History: Sydney Roosters vs Newcastle Knights
Saturday will mark the 57th meeting between the two clubs since Newcastle's inception into the competition in 1988, with the Roosters holding an advantage with 34 victories.
The Tricolours have also won the last two encounters against the Knights, as well as eight of the past ten matches, however, their opponents took the two competition points in the previous meeting in Newcastle in 2019.
Despite this, the Roosters have a positive record at Mcdonald Jones Stadium, winning twelve of the last fifteen games at the venue, with a total of fifteen victories from 29 appearances since their first match in Newcastle back in 1989.
How They Line Up
Front rower Siosiua Taukeiaho has been named to return from the interchange bench in jersey number 17 in what is a big boost to Trent Robinson's side.
Twin brothers Josh and Brett Morris will line up alongside one another for the 101st time, while winger Daniel Tupou can climb to third on the Club's all-time try-scoring tally with a try on Saturday.
With James Tedesco ruled out, Joseph Manu returns to fullback where he deputised against the Dragons, while Drew Hutchison and Ashton-Collier Spirit of Anzac Medallist Sam Walker continue to build on their flourishing halves partnership.
Lindsay Collins and Isaac Liu have been named in the front row, heading a strong forward pack alongside Angus Crichton and Sitili Tupouniua in the back row, with Victor Radley locking up the scrum.
Sam Verrills has been named to start at hooker after making a successful return from injury in Sunday's emphatic win, while Ben Marschke reverts to the bench alongside Taukeiaho, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Nat Butcher.
Fullback for Knights is number 1 Kalyn PongaFullback for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
Winger for Knights is number 2 Starford To'aWinger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
Centre for Knights is number 3 Enari TualaCentre for Roosters is number 3 Josh Morris
Centre for Knights is number 4 Bradman BestCentre for Roosters is number 5 Brett Morris
Winger for Knights is number 5 Brayden MusgroveWinger for Roosters is number 19 Matt Ikuvalu
Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Kurt MannFive-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Drew Hutchison
Halfback for Knights is number 7 Blake GreenHalfback for Roosters is number 7 Sam Walker
Prop for Knights is number 8 David KlemmerProp for Roosters is number 8 Isaac Liu
Hooker for Knights is number 9 Jayden BraileyHooker for Roosters is number 9 Sam Verrills
Prop for Knights is number 10 Daniel SaifitiProp for Roosters is number 10 Lindsay Collins
2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Tyson Frizell2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton
2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Mitchell Barnett2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Sitili Tupouniua
Lock for Knights is number 13 Connor WatsonLock for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley
Interchange for Knights is number 14 Sauaso SueInterchange for Roosters is number 14 Benjamin Marschke
Interchange for Knights is number 15 Jacob SaifitiInterchange for Roosters is number 15 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Interchange for Knights is number 17 Brodie JonesInterchange for Roosters is number 16 Nat Butcher
Interchange for Knights is number 18 Pasami SauloInterchange for Roosters is number 17 Siosiua Taukeiaho
Reserve for Knights is number 19 Phoenix CrosslandReserve for Roosters is number 21 Joseph Suaalii
- Referee: Matt Cecchin
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Touch Judge: Nick Beashel
- Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall
Named on the Roosters' extended bench are Fletcher Baker, Matt Ikuvalu, Egan Butcher and Joseph Suaalii. Ikuvalu is expected to slot into the vacant backline spot.
The Knights welcome back rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon onto their extended bench, while the remainder of their side is the same as the one that lost to the Panthers in Round 7. Bench forward Sauaso Sue plays his 150th NRL match.
Key Matchup: Angus Crichton vs Tyson Frizell
Two NSW Origin backrowers go head to head on Saturday night as Blues teammates Angus Crichton and Tyson Frizell face off.
Equally imperative to their respective forward packs, the pair will face off on the same edge and have had very similar seasons in terms of statistical output.
Both scoring a try each in the first quarter of the regular season, Frizell slightly trumps Crichton in offloads (8 to 7), however, it is important to note that the 25-year-old has played one less game than his opponent.
Crichton also averages more metres per game with 136 compared to Frizell's 121, while both second rowers have played every minute of each game they have played, barring one 70-minute stint from the Newcastle no.11.
What They Said
"We’ve got to make sure we go up to Newcastle and play the brand that Newcastle demands in that town. Playing a physical style of footy is really important so we’ll get ready for that." - Trent Robinson
Going up the M1 is always a challenge, especially with a packed crowd cheering on the Knights, but as we've seen so far in 2021, coming up against adversity is exactly what the boys from Bondi thrive on.
Make sure you grab your tickets here, and if you can't make the game be sure to head down to Artie's to watch the boys in Red, White and Blue do battle in what will be another thriller!