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NRL: Star Knights duo to face Sea Eagles

Newcastle Knights and Manly Sea Eagles will clash in the only NRL game to take place on Sunday, and it is a big one as far as making the top eight is concerned.

Consistency has been an issue for both the Knights and Sea Eagles so far this season, but luckily for them, the same can be said regards the rest of the teams in the NRL. 

Despite being 13th on the ladder, the Knights are just three points away from the top eight. The same margin separates the Sea Eagles in ninth and top of the ladder. 

That is how tight the ladder is and if a team can get on a good run of form, they will soon be flying up it. These two sides have already met on one occasion this season. 

That came in round four and saw them battle out a thrilling 32-32 draw. Even golden point could not separate them on that occasion. We could be in for another tight one here as both sides battle for a crucial two points.

Ponga boost for Knights

WhatNewcastle Knights v Manly Sea Eagles
WhereMcDonald Jones Stadium, Sydney
When16:05 (AEST) Sunday 28th May, 2023
How to watchChannel 9, Foxtel, Kayo
OddsNewcastle Knights 1.33, Manly Sea Eagles 3.35

The Knights have won just four games so far this season, losing six and drawing one. However a couple of those losses against the Panthers and Cowboys were by just a couple of points, and on another day they could have won. 

The ladder would be looking a lot better, but there have been promising signs, and they have made big improvements compared to 2022. 

They were not on show in the last round however when they suffered a 20-point loss against the Sharks and managed just the one try. 

Newcastle need to respond to that loss and they will be glad to be back on home soil, having won three of the last four games at McDonald Jones Stadium. 

They have also been boosted by the news that both Kalyn Ponga and Dane Gagai are available to play after they were left out of the Queensland side for State of Origin. 

Ponga has been named to start at fullback after playing five-eighth this season. That means Tyson Gamble will partner Jackson Hastings in the halves. 

Ponga is priced at 2.40 to grab a try at anytime during the game, but it is Greg Marzhew who is the real man in form after scoring five tries in his last four games on home soil. He is priced at 7.00 to score the first try.  

Newcastle will be missing Tyson Frizell however after he did get the nod to play State of Origin on Wednesday night.

Sea Eagles missing Trbo

Manly snapped a three-game losing streak last week as they smashed the Canberra Raiders 42-14, in one of the surprise results of the round. 

Gun fullback Tom Trbojevic was the star of the show, returning to his best form, but that has resulted in him being called up by New South Wales for State of Origin. 

It means he will have to sit out the game against the Knights, as will skipper Daly Cherry-Evans, who will represent Queensland. 

Cooper Johns will come into the halves to replace Cherry-Evans, while Toafofoa Sipley will start at prop to replace Jake Trbojevic, who has a calf injury. 

The Sea Eagles have gone well against the Knights in their last three games and have managed to pile on a total of 102 points. 

Second-rower Haumole Olakau’atu also likes playing against them and has scored a try in each of the last three games against the Knights. He is priced at 3.50 to do the same again. 

The Sea Eagles have won the last two games on the road and should take great confidence from that heading into the Knights clash.

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