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NRL: Tedesco absence gives Knights the edge

Sydney Roosters will be missing skipper James Tedesco when they attempt to return to winning ways against Newcastle Knights on Thursday evening.

The Roosters put in a disappointing performance when losing by four points to Canterbury Bulldogs and they also lost Tesdesco and one or two other key players in the process.

They will now need to find a way to win without them.

Trent Robinson’s side are 10.00 to win the 2024 NRL grand final, but on the evidence so far there is work to be done.

Newcastle picked up an important win over the St George/Illawarra Dragons in tough, wet conditions last Friday and will be keen to go back-to-back.

The Knights are priced at 2.50 to make the top eight and play finals, but the wins will need to keep coming.

There is a lot on the line on Thursday night and these two teams could serve up a cracker.

. What: Newcastle Knights v Sydney Roosters
. Where: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
. When: 20:50, Thursday 11th April 2024
. How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel, Channel 9
. Odds: Newcastle Knights 1.58, Sydney Roosters 2.40

Hastings back with a bang

Halfback Jackson Hastings returned to the fold against the Dragons and proved the doubters wrong with an impressive display.

Hastings, who was dropped to the NSW Cup after a slow start to the season, scored a try and formed a strong partnership with Jack Cogger in the halves.

Cogger also chipped in with a couple of try assists and the duo will be crucial if the Knights are to turn over the Roosters.

So too is Kalyn Ponga, who has made a great start to the season and is currently leading the way in the Dally M standings.

The Knights have made McDonald Jones a fortress when winning eight of the last nine games at the venue.

There is nothing to choose between the two sides, and home advantage could be key for the Knights, who are 3.00 to win by 1-12 points.

Bradman Best loves playing on home soil, and the powerful centre has scored nine tries in his last 11 games at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Roosters missing key players

The Roosters will be missing key players in Tedesco, Sam Walker and Dominic Young when they take on the Knights.

Tedesco and Walker both failed head injury assessments against the Bulldogs and will sit out with concussion.

Young was sent off for a careless high tackle and will be forced to serve a two-match suspension, denying him the opportunity to face his former club.

The Bondi outfit do have a good record against the Knights, winning 12 of their last 14 games against them.

They have also won on their last two visits to the hunter, including a narrow two-point victory in 2023.

If history is to repeat itself, the Roosters can be backed at 6.50 to win by 1-5 points.

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