Newcastle Knights vs Cronulla Sharks NRL Tips, Predictions and Match Preview - Sharks on eight-match winning streak against Knights

Andrew Hendrie 12 Mar 2019
  • Newcastle Knights meet Cronulla Sharks in Round 1 of the NRL on Friday night
  • Sharks have won the last eight encounters between the teams
Knights face Sharks on Friday

Newcastle Knights attempt to avenge a pre-season trial loss to Cronulla Sharks when they square off in the opening round of the 2019 NRL season on Friday night at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Knights vs Sharks kicks off at 6.00pm AEST at McDonald Jones Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports in Australia.

Prediction

Match Preview


With arguably the most electrifying youngster in the game and after bringing in one of the sport’s biggest enforcers, much will be expected of the Knights in 2019 - at the very least a top eight finish after years of languishing at the foot of the ladder.

Kalyn Ponga is set for another spectacular season after his extraordinary breakout campaign last year, and if he can avoid any lengthy injuries along with Mitchell Pearce, they could transform into the best halves pairing in the competition.

David Klemmer also arrives from the Bulldogs and will be determined to re-establish his reputation as one of the NRL’s most feared forwards. He is set to make his Knights debut on Friday, along with fellow fresh faces Edrick Lee, Hymel Hunt, Jesse Ramien, James Gavet and Tim Glasby, while Kurt Mann will come off the bench.

It’s been another off-season of controversy for the Sharks, this time surrounding the salary cap, while coach Shane Flanagan was axed mid-way through the pre-season.

John Morris has taken the head coaching gig as a result, but while he has a roster capable of challenging for the premiership, I’m not sure how the Sharks will go this season.

Shaun Johnson doesn’t really suit their gritty style of play, while the loss of Luke Lewis (retired) could be a massive one. Paul Gallen also isn’t getting any younger, while a second row pairing of Briton Nikora and Kurt Capewell isn’t exactly a jaw dropper…

Cronulla have a better team on paper, but I’m liking the Knights to start the season with a bang. Newcastle love playing at home, and if Ponga and Pearce are clicking, I think they can steer the home side to an opening round win.

Match Odds


Newcastle Knights - $1.90
Cronulla Sharks - $1.90

Stats


  • Sharks have won the last eight meetings between the teams
  • Knights haven’t beaten Sharks at home since 2014
  • Sharks won their last clash 38-12 in Round 24 last year

Teams


Knights: 1 Connor Watson 2 Edrick Lee 3 Hymel Hunt 4 Jesse Ramien 5 Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6 Kalyn Ponga 7 Mitchell Pearce 8 David Klemmer 9 Danny Levi 10 James Gavet 11 Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12 Sione Mata’utia 13 Tim Glasby. Interchange: 14 Kurt Mann 15 Aidan Guerra 16 Mitchell Barnett 17 Daniel Saifiti. Reserves: 18 Jamie Buhrer 19 Herman Ese’ese 20 Josh King 21 Brodie Jones

Sharks: 1 Matt Moylan 2 Sosaia Feki 3 Josh Dugan 4 Josh Morris 5 Sione Katoa 6 Shaun Johnson 7 Chad Townsend 8 Andrew Fifita 9 Jayden Brailey 10 Matt Prior 11 Briton Nikora 12 Kurt Capewell 13 Paul Gallen (c). Interchange: 14 Blayke Brailey 15 Jayson Bukuya 16 Aaron Woods 17 Jack Williams. Reserves: 18 Scott Sorensen 19 Kyle Flanagan 20 Bronson Xerri 21 Braden Uele

Tips


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Newcastle Knights vs Cronulla Sharks NRL Tips, Predictions and Match Preview - Sharks on eight-match winning streak against Knights

Newcastle Knights attempt to avenge a pre-season trial loss to Cronulla Sharks when they square off in the opening round of the 2019 NRL season on Friday night at McDonald Jones Stadium.

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