Wednesday 9 September 2009

NRL Finals 2009 - Bulldogs v Newcastle Knights Qualifying Final Preview

The Bulldogs imploded without injured halfback Brett Kimmorley in Round 26 to let the Minor Premiership slip from their grasp and face a Newcastle Knights side full of confidence in the 3rd Qualifying Final on Saturday Night. The Knights crushed the Panthers 35-0 to secure a place in the opening weekend of the 2009 NRL Finals Series, while the Bulldogs found the Wests Tigers too hot to handle at the SFS and were spanked 34-12. Kimmorley won't be back until the Preliminary Final stage (if at all) and the Bulldogs must find a way to win without his superb leadership and kick-chase game. News Update 11/09/09: The Bulldogs say they are preparing as if De Gois and Taia will play but given the game is not until Saturday Night - there's a lot of time for one or both of them to be ruled out. George Ndaira would be the likely replacement for De Gois and Corey Paterson would get a run if Taia can't play. News Update 10/09/09: Newcastle pair Isaac De Gois and Zeb Taia remain in serious doubt for the Saturday Night clash with injury. The Bulldogs look fully fit outside of Brett Kimmorley, although Brad Morrin is likely to join the bench as 18th man. The Knights still have to trim one player from their bench and that will be one of Marvin Karawana, Wes Naiqama and Corey Paterson. > For some great analysis on the Finalists by Phil Gould, Benji Marshall and Johnathan Thurston download the audio from their segment on The Footy Show here. Video Preview below and here are the teams announced on Tuesday. =============================================== The best way to follow the 2009 Finals Series is to follow NRL_Finals_2009 on Twitter. On the first day of operation alone, we produced 30 Tweets - with some great nuggets of information in there, as well as news as it breaks. For the Finals Games themselves, regular Tweets will be uploaded giving you an instant evaluation of how the game is being played out and what to watch out for during the match. If you don't want to miss a thing - subscribe right now or follow it on the main page of on the right side column. =============================================== SATURDAY NIGHT @ ANZ Stadium 8:30pm Referees: Tony Archer & Jason Robinson Sideline Officials: Steve Carrall & Russell Turner Video Referee: Sean Hampstead
Bulldogs: Starting Lineup: 1. Luke Patten 2. Hazem El Masri 3. Josh Morris 4. Jamal Idris 5. Bryson Goodwin 6. Ben Roberts 7. Daniel Holdsworth 8. Ben Hannant 9. Michael Ennis 10. Michael Hodgson 11. Greg Eastwood 12. Andrew Ryan (c) 13. David Stagg Reserves: 14. Jarrad Hickey, 15. Chris Armit, 16. Yileen Gordon, 17. Gary Warburton. Coach: Kevin Moore. Newcastle Knights: Starting Lineup: 1. Kurt Gidley (c) 2. Shannon McDonnell 3. Junior Sau 4. Adam MacDougall 5. Cooper Vuna 6. Jarrod Mullen 7. Scott Dureau 8. Mark Taufua 9. Isaac De Gois 10. Chris Houston 11. Steven Simpson 12. Zeb Taia 13. Matt Hilder Reserves: 14. Wes Naiqama, 15. Marvin Karawana, 16. Richard Fa'aoso, 17. Danny Wicks, 18. Corey Paterson. Coach: Rick Stone. Last 6 Games Head to Head (NEW 4 BUL 2) NEW 22 def. BUL 14 - Round 12, 2009 NEW 22 def. BUL 12 - Round 13, 2008 BUL 30 def. NEW 16 - Round 8, 2007 NEW 25 def. BUL 24 - Round 1, 2007 BUL 38 def. NEW 22 - Round 13, 2006 NEW 46 def. BUL 22 - Round 3, 2006 VIDEO PREVIEW BELOW
Who do you think will win between the Bulldogs and Knights? Qualifying Final Predictions: BULLDOGS 24 def. KNIGHTS 14 Man of the Match: Ben Hannant, Bulldogs First Tryscorer: Bryson Goodwin, Bulldogs