*Interview courtesy of KnightsTV - newcastleknights.com.au*
NZ Warriors v Newcastle Knights – Semi Final
UOW Jubilee Oval, Sunday 10 September
Broadcast LIVE on FOX League
Newcastle proved the beneficiary of missing stars, while the Warriors were left to rue chances that may have been, as leading men fell absent in Week One of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW Finals.
While the South Sydney Rabbitohs called upon some of the North Sydney Bears’ best, Newcastle put aside the meek challenge of the Red and Black, as Penrith made inroads in their Qualifying Final against a lesser Warriors outfit.
Team of the Year member Mason Lino turned out for the NRL Warriors in their final round clash against the Wests Tigers, putting a major dent in the Auckland-based side’s ISP NSW Finals hopes of Week One.
Though that looks set to change in Week Two, with the Warriors to field six NRL-experienced players in a big boost to their hopes of booking a place in the Preliminary Finals.
Not to detract from the Knights’ efforts with ball in hand, the Novocastrians showed they’ll again be a tough threat to contain, running in six tries to the Bears four en route to the 22-point win.
The Warriors started their season in emphatic style against the Knights, scoring a big 52-24 win as the sides went head-to-head in Round 1.
Though as the season progressed and the Knights found their feet, so too did they lessen the gap between themselves and the NZ outfit, as the sides shared the spoils in an 18-all draw in Round 13.
Where It Will Be Won
Fielding a different halves pairing to that of their Week One outfit, expect the Warriors to possess more attacking power through their six and seven, as Ata Hingano and Mason Lino again link up in the play-making roles.
The Knights will also trot out a change of combination, with Jack Cogger to return to the halfback role, and Will Pearsall to wear the ‘9’.
Regular five-eighth Jaelen Feeney was also absent for part of the clash with the Bears, ruled unfit to return to the field of play when failing a HIA (concussion) assessment.
Boasting a slick and powerful back five, look for the Warriors outside men to take the heat off their forwards with strong carries from dummy-half, causing headaches for the Knights tiring pack.
Be there to witness history, with tickets just $10 for adults and children under 12 free.