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Newcastle Knights v New Zealand Warriors
Saturday, August 5, 3pm (AEST) at McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

The Knights will enter this clash against the Warriors full of confidence after their shock win over the Dragons last week. It was only their third win of the season and Knights coach Nathan Brown will be hoping last week’s performance wasn’t a one off, with his job sure to a point of discussion in the off-season. The Warriors have struggled on the road all year and things have been made tougher, with backrower Bodene Thompson ruled out for this clash.

The Warriors have won four straight against the Knights and 14 of their last 18. However, the Knights have won two of the last three battles in Newcastle against the Warriors. It’s worth noting that halfback Shaun Johnson featured in each of the Warrior’s last four wins and his absence can’t be underestimated. Warriors winger David Fusitua has scored seven tries in his last two matches against the Knights. Could be worth a first try-scorer bet here!

Newcastle remain last on the premiership ladder but enter this off a rare win, a 21-14 triumph over St George Illawarra that was just their third of 2017. The Knights had dropped eight straight before the win. Newcastle have scored at least 20 points in four of their last five home games. New Zealand are 10th on the ladder with a 7-12 record and their finals hopes are now all but gone for a sixth straight season. The Warriors have dropped their last four, conceding at least 24 in all of those losses. New Zealand are 1-8 on the road this year but all those losses bar one have been by 12 or less.

Key Matchup
Nathan Ross v Roger Tuivasa-Sheck: Ross has become a crowd favourite of the Knights faithful and has scored three tries in his last three matches against Warriors, including a double in Round 1 this year. Tuivas-Sheck has been one of the major disappointments this year and has struggled for any consistency in his comeback season from an ACL injury. He’ll be looking to finish the season strongly and recapture the form he displayed in Round 1 against the Knights where he ran for over 250 metres.

Stats That Matter
– Newcastle are 9-10 ATS with an 11-8 under record while New Zealand are 7-12 ATS with a 10-9 over number.

– The Warriors have won four straight against the Knights and 14 of their last 18.

– Six of the last seven matches between the teams have topped 44 points.

– The Knights have won two of the last three battles in Newcastle against the Warriors.

– Newcastle’s only four wins the last two seasons have been home day games while they have covered six of their last nine home day games as an underdog.

– The Warriors are 7-12 ATS with a 14-5 over record as a day road team.

– The Warriors are 21-31 ATS away from Mt Smart since 2014.

– The Knights have covered 6 of their last 9 off a win.

– The Warriors have covered just 4 of their last 17 after scoring 12 or fewer points.

Final Thoughts
The Wolf is cautious backing a side who has only won three matches for the season, but the Warriors record away from home this season and the loss of Shaun Johnson are huge factors in finding the winner here. The Wolf says to take the Knights as outsiders and the overs.

How It’s Shaping Up
Newcastle by 4

Best Bet
Newcastle ($2.14)

Other Recommended Bets
Over 44.5 ($1.88)

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