New Newcastle interim coach Danny Buderus has resisted the temptation to swing the axe, however he has warned there will be changes if their fortunes don’t improve.
The Knights have made no major changes to their side for their NRL clash against St George Illawarra on Saturday, despite Rick Stone this week paying the price for their failures.
Carlos Tuimavave has been named at five-eighth against the Dragons, coming in for Jarrod Mullen, who will undergo season-ending toe surgery this week.
Stone was let go by the club’s board on Monday but the under-performing playing group has seemingly been given a stay of execution.
“It’s a results-driven business, that’s for sure,” Buderus said.
“The way we were losing them, this club has been built on a lot of character over the years and Stoney was working hard to instil those traits.
“Some of those losses weren’t acceptable from a fan’s point of view, a stakeholder’s point of view and definitely the coaching staff and players’ point of view.”
Melbourne have named Jesse Bromwich despite the New Zealand Test prop facing biting charges which he will answer at the judiciary on Wednesday night.
They will face the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval on Friday, who have named captain Robbie Farah to return from a broken hand while Sauaso Sue will move into lock to replace suspended enforcer Martin Taupau.
Tuimoala Lolohea has replaced injured Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson, whose season is over because of a serious ankle injury.
Saturday’s match between the Warriors and Sharks shapes as a potentially fiery showdown with Konrad Hurrell and Anthony Tupou both named to return.
The last time the two teams met in May, Tupou’s jaw was badly broken attempting at a tackle on Warriors wrecking ball Hurrell, who was later found guilty of lifting his knee and suspended for three weeks.
The game will be Tupou’s first game back after having four plates and 16 screws inserted into his jaw.
Tupou comes in for fellow veteran back-rower Luke Lewis, who will miss two to three weeks with a knee injury.
Chris Heighington will start at prop for Andrew Fifita, who has been stood down following allegations he abused a junior referee.
Kyle Turner will play his first game for South Sydney this season, making his playing return after suffering a serious neck injury in the NRL All Stars match in February.
The Rabbitohs’ opposition, Penrith, have named Isaac John at No.6 after Peter Wallace was ruled out for the rest of the year after being forced to undergo knee surgery.
Former Australian winger Josh Mansour comes into the side, taking the place of Dean Whare (broken thumb).
As predicted, Moses Mbye will replace Canterbury five-eighth Josh Reynolds, who may miss the rest of the year with a knee injury.
Coach Des Hasler has also named back-rower Frank Pritchard however he is under an injury cloud with a rib problem.
Jack Reed returns from suspension for the table-topping Brisbane Broncos while Jarrod Wallace will replace suspended prop Adam Blair in the starting side.