General Rd 20 - Warriors vs Knights Preview!

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ToiletDuck

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Warriors vs Knights
Mt Smart Stadium
Saturday 21st July, 7:30pm (NZ time)

This weekend promises to be a cracker as far as rugby league goes, starting with the Sea Eagles hosting the Bulldogs on Friday, and ending with the Tigers travelling to Townsville on Monday. I’m excited, it’s squeaky bum time and September is just around the corner. Having said that, Ray Warren needs to abandon the Olympics ASAP – I’m not sure I can handle much more Ray Hadley.

Who else enjoyed last Friday night? Despite the loss, that was our best performance of the season. I’ll put my hand up and say I didn’t expect us to go that well at Suncorp on Friday. An unlucky night with the boot from Maloney was all that separated us from a memorable win. Nonetheless, it’s time to move on to Bennett’s Knights.


Recent Form: The Warriors looked to have been building after successive wins over depleted Cowboys and Titans sides, yet just missed out on Friday night. What pleased me most was our defence, and that we fought for the full 80 minutes. That particular quality has been glaringly absent this season, so it was pleasing to see the boys finally play with the kind of desperation we all crave.

The Knights were amongst the pre-season favourites with Bennett at the helm, though it’s safe to say this season has so far been a big disappointment for the Novocastrians. They’re coming off a WLW record, the highlight being an impressive 32-6 victory of the Sea Eagles last weekend. Rumours are that the Seagles were struck down with the flu, and I’m skeptical the Knights will be able to back it up.

RND20_Prvw_WARKNI_Teams.jpg

Players to watch: When our forwards go well, the team goes well. After last week’s display I expect our forwards to come out at home and monster this Newcastle pack. Matulino, Mannering and Friend were outstanding in our display against the Broncos – and I expect the same this weekend. I don’t think I’m alone in hoping Willie Mason decides to take on Ben Matulino, in fact I pray for it daily.

Will the real Shaun Johnson please stand up? Okay that’s harsh, SJ has impressed me this season overall. Last year it was his scintillating play at this stage of the season that really propelled us toward that grand final. With Friend back, and guys like Hurrell, Mateo, Matulino hitting top form, a timely injection of some SJ brilliance could really take us to another level.

As for the Knights, well no doubt the talk will be about Uate vs Vatuvei, though my attention will be on the Kondom up against Tahu. They play a very physical game and both teams will be keen to show them early ball. Tyrone Roberts has impressed me, he seems to be finding his feet in first grade and was instrumental in that victory over Manly. For mine their strength lies in the backline, so starving the likes of Roberts, Mullen and Boyd of ball on the front foot will go a long way to securing victory.


My prediction: Well I’m probably more confident about this game than any other this season. The Knights don’t like travelling to Auckland – having not won there since 2005. Even if unspectacular, the Warriors have shown they can usually account for lesser teams at Mt Smart, and I don’t think this Knights outfit has enough to get one up on us here. The loss to the Broncos had plenty of positives to take away, and we must continue to build. A loss would be simply shattering. If we’re any chance of a late run, we have to play as a top 8 team and dispatch them through the covers like a glorious Flemo cover drive. Warriors 30 – Knights 18.
 
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KingKon

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This is exactly the kind of game the Warriors are adept at losing...having said that, I think there is just too much at stake and they are too skilled across the paddock. Warriors by 14.
 
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koolkat

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Should be a good game on Saturday night, with both teams having inconstant and injurey plagued seasons but with home advantage, and last weeks defencive efforts, should see us fine for Saturday nights clash.im looking forward to another team effort like that because if we don't.all the sweat and tears we put into last weeks proformance.will be in vain.hopfully we get that good solid 80 ,minutes we have all been screaming for.prediction 32 16 comfy 12,14 point win suits me fine.here is the link for the knights line up if anybody wants it https://www.newcastleknights.com.au/news-display/Naiqama-in-for-injured-McManus/59484P.s no Evarn Tuimavave shame
 
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Dankokoro 2.0

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Great preview..

Warriors 32
Knights 10

FTS Vatuvei
MOM Maloney

Looking forward to this one.. i hope we can show the same sort of 80 minute defensive display we saw last week.. but we do tend to leak a few tries in these home games and still win comfortably enough.

Goes with out saying that this is a must win for our top 8 dreams, and so i reckon da boiz will be well and truly up for this one.
 
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Danpatmac

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The knights kicked manly's ass last week... I can't remember the last time we did that.

I think there is a very real chance we could lose this game and unless we go in looking to do the hard stuff and play simple effective footy then I can see us getting our pants pulled down.

This is a Knights team I would be very careful of, especially if we are in any way over confident or lacking in intensity.

Warriors by 6
 
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Fazz

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Johnson needs a big one for us to win. He was ordinary last week, and that's a big reason we lost. It would be nice is Maloney managed to kick a bloody goal this week too.

FTS: Hurrell/Uate
MOM: Matulino
Final score: 34 War beats 30 New
 
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Westiefan

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I'm sure I heard Maloney on Radio Sport this morning say Manu is out for this game
 
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Dankokoro 2.0

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The knights kicked manly's ass last week... I can't remember the last time we did that.
1994 i think..

I'd be worried if this game was a few weeks ago.. i think now that it's down to the simple equation of 'we have to win', works in our favour.

I'm sure I heard Maloney on Radio Sport this morning say Manu is out for this game
lol.. well you did or you didnt... who said it?
 
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KingBubz

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Haha Maloney also said on RS this morning that he took cash for missing the kick... Wouldnt read too much into what Mr Maloney says especially on RS... We all know he loves to take the piss a bit lol still remember when he was giving SJ crap for having a small dong cos hes part Asian haha
 
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Wellington Warrior

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Luck said earlier this week that Manu tweaked his hammy in that last play against the Broncos
 
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Westiefan

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Haha Maloney also said on RS this morning that he took cash for missing the kick... Wouldnt read too much into what Mr Maloney says especially on RS... We all know he loves to take the piss a bit lol still remember when he was giving SJ crap for having a small dong cos hes part Asian haha
You're probably right...I liked his chat with Omar when he was asking how difficult it was for him getting through customs when travelling!
 
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Raurimu Massive

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I get the impression that Johnson will pull out a great game when he concentrates more on the basics of half play: good, solid and varied strategies - when that happens, the attention from defence will be spread amongst the other players looking for him to kick/pass etc, and he'll be more likely to find gaps for his running. An example - constant grubber kicks to get repeat sets, and soon enough the defence is going to hang off him and give him the chance to jink into a hole and either score or put someone else over the line. End result - 4 or 6 points and around 10 minutes where the opposition has done nothing but tackle and pray.

If he keeps on trying to come up with Magic Johnson moments throughout the match because he feels the need to impress, then a solidly coached defence should be able to shut him down. In turn, that'll put too much pressure on Maloney and our last tackle options will turn to complete piss. If we keep on hiffing the ball to these super-talents with a 'come on bro, razzle that dazzle' mentality then our club won't progress beyond a 'probably make the finals' team.
 
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KingBubz

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You're probably right...I liked his chat with Omar when he was asking how difficult it was for him getting through customs when travelling!
He's a crack up at times ay... Will miss that side of him most when he leaves at the end of the season
 
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janfin

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Roast chicken for tea fire already to be lit The boys to take it out by 6. Jimmy to make up for last week and be MOM :)
 
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fanrrior

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I would like to see Johnson and Maloney play together more often. Its too easy to predict who is going to do what when they are out by themselves. At least when Mateo is on, he acts like first reciever which draws some of the attention away from those two. But once he is off there is more pressure put on Johnson and Maloney because they are the two people we are going to turn to for a set play. When really we have not only those three, but Locke, Vatuvei and Hurrel that are seen as our attacking gurus. I would consider Friend and Brown gurus too, but they don't seem to install as much doubt in their opponents head as to what they are going to do. Imo, our attacking structure looks like this when our props, Mannering aren't taking hit ups, or Brown isn't doing a dummy run: Johnson and Vatuvei on the left, Maloney and Hurrel on the right, Mateo in the middle to link the two sides together and Locke to provide some support play where necessary. We rarely see our halves cross sides help each other out except when they have to put a long kick away.

Even by just standing near each other so that the defensive line notices their presence can mean the difference between a try and no try. Well that my opinion anyway.
 
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mrblonde

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Warren's at the Olympics? Makes sense....

THORPE! HACKETT! THORPE! HACKETT! THEY'RE NOT GONNA BE IN IT!! To paraphrase the 12th Man.

Warriors 13+. The good defence will improve and we'll concede at worst two tries. Warriors 28-12. Omar to break his duck. I know I've said it three times - gotta happen one day...

The fulltime siren will go for the end of the pre-game and we'll be right in it. Then the fulltime siren for the end of half time...etc.
 
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fizurg

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warriors by 20. 32-12. locke, manu and hurrell to score.
 
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ToiletDuck

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Dankokoro 2.0 This is what I was expecting from the Warriors last night...



This is what we got...


 
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