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NRL: Knights must avoid Bulldogs banana skin

Newcastle Knights are looking good for a place in the top eight, but they cannot afford any slip-ups against the struggling Canterbury Bulldogs on Sunday.

The Knights are hitting form at just the right time, but after the game against the Bulldogs they have a tough run of fixtures, so Sunday is seen as a must-win.

The Bulldogs were expected to push for finals this season under new coach Cameron Ciraldo, but they are nowhere near.

Even so they still have a lot to play for, including their pride. Some are playing for their futures, while it is important to build momentum for 2024.

The Bulldogs are also on a revenge mission after being hammered by the Knights on home soil earlier this season, so Sunday’s final clash of the round is set up nicely.

WhatNewcastle Knights v Canterbury Bulldogs
WhereMcDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
When16:05 (AEST), Sunday 13th August 2023
How to watchChannel 9, Kayo, Foxtel
OddsNewcastle Knights 1.36, Canterbury Bulldogs 3.20

Knights on a roll

The Knights are on a roll at just the right time, having won winning five of their last six games. The only defeat came against the mighty Panthers and there is no shame in that.

Newcastle showed great character to come from behind and beat the Dolphins in a thriller in Perth last weekend and will take confidence from another important win.

They sit seventh on the ladder, just two points ahead of the Sea Eagles down in 11th place, so there is work to be done.

With games against the Sharks and Rabbitohs to come it is important that Newcastle take the two points against the Bulldogs and they are priced at 1.45 to make the top eight.

The Knights have a good record against the Bulldogs and smashed them 66-0 earlier in the season, making it four wins from the last five games against them.

Dominic Young had a quiet game in Perth by his standards, but the winger is priced at 6.00 to bounce back with the first try of the game on Sunday.

The Knights will be without star centre Bradman Best, however, after he picked up an adductor injury.

Bulldogs target strong finish

The Bulldogs are out of the running for the eight following a disappointing season, but they will be looking to finish it strongly.

They did pick up a one-point win over the Dolphins before the bye, so should be well rested ahead of the short trip to Newcastle.

Canterbury have a roster packed with quality but now need to gel.

The new halves pairing of Toby Sexton and Matt Burton is an exciting one, while Viliame Kikau is back to fitness and will look to shine in the remaining games.

Former Penrith star Kikau can be backed at 3.40 to score a try at anytime in the game.

Jake Averillo is another player to watch. The Bulldogs fullback has scored four tries in his past three game and is priced at 21.00 to grab the first of the game.

Luke Thompson has recovered from long-term injury and makes his first appearance of the season on the bench.

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