Newcastle hope history will be on their side when they host South Sydney as they seek to end their record losing streak.
The Knights have had 16 successive defeats before their last home game of the season – the longest losing run in the NRL era.
Sunday is Old Boys’ Day at Hunter Stadium, where the Knights’ former players hold their yearly reunion, and the occasion has brought out the best in Newcastle in recent years.
According to Fox Sports Stats, the Knights have lost their final home game of the season only four times since 2000.
Seven of those wins have been by 30 points or more.
The Knights will be boosted by the return of Jarrod Mullen from a leg injury.
Sione Mata’utia returns from concussion into the home’s side’s back row.
Mata’utia hopes to continue his successful move from the outside backs.
“If I stick to one position I should be sweet,” he said.
“I spoke to Browny (coach Nathan Brown) and I think we are pretty happy to where we are at the moment.
“I’m excited to stay in this one position and am learning to love it.
“I have coaching staff who are helping me learn the trade pretty quick.”
The Knights will be without winger Nathan Ross due to suspension and hooker Dani Levi, who has undergone back surgery.
Cory Denniss moves to the wing and Pat Mata’utia goes onto the bench.
Cameron McInnes, David Tyrrell and Zane Musgrove move into Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire’s side.
* Since 2009 the Knights have won just two of 10 matches against the Rabbitohs, which is their worst record against any opponent.
* The Knights have conceded 20 points or more in 16 straight matches, and are now just one of four teams to have done so (South Sydney 16 in 1999, Manly 18 in 2003-04 and the Roosters 16 in 2006).
* Adam Reynolds requires just two points to overtake Benny Wearing (835 points) from the 1920s and become the third-highest scorer for the club.
* Nathan Brown has won eight of his 10 matches as coach against South Sydney, while Michael Maguire has a perfect record as coach against Newcastle, winning all six matches played against them.
Source: Fox Sports Stats