New Zealand Warriors v Newcastle Knights Friday, August 10, 6pm Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
The Warriors have a strong recent record against the Knights and will be looking to build on their win over the Dragons last week with a win here to stretch the gap to the Tigers back in ninth place. Meanwhile, the Knights have named Mitchell Pearce but he could be a late withdrawal, with young gun Kalyn Ponga set to take on more responsibility if Pearce doesn’t play.
Recent FormNew Zealand are eighth on the ladder with a 12-8 record. They rank 10th in scoring and eighth in defence. The Warriors have won two straight just once since Round 5. They have been held to 18 or fewer in five of their last six. Newcastle are 11th on the ladder with an 8-12 record. They have the worst defence in the NRL while they rank 11th in scoring. The Knights have conceded 20 or more in five of six.
Stats That Matter– New Zealand are 12-8 ATS with a 13-7 under record while Newcastle are 10-10 ATS with an 11-9 over record. – The Warriors have won 11 of the last 15 against the Knights and have won 11 of the last 12 between the teams at Mt Smart. – Six of the last eight clashes have topped 44 points. – The Warriors are 17-25 ATS at Mt Smart since 2015 including 11-18 ATS as a favourite and 7-11 ATS (12-6 over) when favoured by more than a converted try (though have covered four of their last six). – The Warriors are 12-15 ATS with a 16-11 under record off conceding 16 or fewer. – The Warriors are 5-8 ATS with a 9-4 over record when favoured by 8 or more points. – New Zealand have covered just six of 20 home night games. – The Knights are 8-14 ATS in road night games and 19-26 ATS on the road overall. – The Knights are 11-19 ATS with a 19-11 over record when an outsider of 8 or more. – The over is 15-7 in Knights interstate games with Newcastle 7-14 ATS.
Final ThoughtsThe Wolf is expecting a comfortable win to the Warriors but has been hurt in the past by the inconsistent Warriors. Instead, he is making the overs the best play here. Six of the last eight clashes between the Warriors and Knights have topped 44 points. The Knights have nothing to lose and will look to play an attacking brand of football, especially if Ponga is calling the shots, while we know all about the attacking weapons in the Warriors side. Overs!
How It Shapes UpNew Zealand by 16
Recommended Bets Best: Over 41.5 ($1.91) Value: New Zealand by 11-20 ($4) First Tryscorer: David Fusitua