Saturday’s first NRL Round 24 match is between Newcastle Knights and Gold Coast Titans. The opening bounce is set to commence at 15:05 local time with the game to be played at Hunter Stadium. The away team Gold Coast Titans are the favourites for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between Newcastle Knights and Gold Coast Titans.
When: 15:05 | Saturday 20/08/2016
Where: Hunter Stadium
Tip: Gold Coast Titans at $1.19
Value Tip: First Try Scorer: David Mead at $12.00
Knights: 1. Jake Mamo 2. Nathan Ross 3. Dane Gagai 4. Peter Mata’utia 5. Brendan Elliott 6. Jarrod Mullen 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Sam Mataora 9. Tyler Randell 10. Korbin Sims 11. Sione Mata’utia 12. Mitchell Barnett 13. Jeremy Smith
Interchange: 14. Josh King 15. Daniel Saifiti 16. Pauli Pauli 17. Mickey Paea 18. Jacob Saifiti 19. Pat Mata’utia.
Titans: 1 David Mead, 2 Anthony Don, 3 Josh Hoffman, 4 Konrad Hurrell, 5 Nene Macdonald, 6 Jarryd Hayne, 7 Ashley Taylor, 8 Luke Douglas, 9 Nathan Peats, 10 Ryan James, 11 John Zebelon Taia, 12 Chris McQueen, 13 Greg Bird.
Interchange: 14 David Shillington, 15 Ryan Simpkins, 16 Agnatius Paasi, 17 Nathan Friend, 18 Leivaha Pulu.
Gold Coast coach Neil Henry is confident the Titans can successfully argue contact from Ryan James which broke James Tedesco’s jaw was accidental.
The Titans front-rower is facing a one-match ban after being slapped with a grade-two careless high tackle charge over his hit on the Wests Tigers youngster during Gold Coast’s 19-18 win on Saturday.
James will front the NRL judiciary in Sydney on Wednesday to fight the charge which the Titans feel wasn’t careless or malicious.
“We feel that it was unavoidable and accidental contact,” Henry said.
“While the injury is terrible and we feel for James Tedesco, in this situation when you look at the timeframe of hundredths of a second and movement, that’s what it was.
“I think we’ve got a valid argument and we wouldn’t be going there if we didn’t think so.”
Henry denied the suggestion the challenge was merely a rolling of the dice, with James to face a one-game ban whether he’s found guilty or takes an early-guilty plea.
“That’s not even the point, if we thought it was clear-cut that he deserved a week or he deserved two weeks or three weeks, we’d be doing that,” he said.
Regardless of the outcome the Titans head to bottom-placed Newcastle this weekend expecting another win to deliver them closer to ending a finals drought stretching to 2010.
Henry though is urging respect be shown by his charges to the Knights, who are currently on a club-record 15-game losing run.
“They’ll be really keen to get a win,” Henry said.
“It’s a tough place to go and historically the Titans haven’t been particularly good down there.
We had the win up here, round one, but we need to prove we can get away again, get the points, it’s crucial to our campaign.
“We’re not good enough to relax anyway.”
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change