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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Postman's Predicted NRL Round 1 Team: Newcastle Knights | #SuperCoach #NRLFantasy


National Rugby League Premiership
By W D Nicolson - February 22, 2017


NRL SuperCoach and NRL Fantasy pundits rejoice - your old mate The Postman is back with his take on the 17 Knights he believes Nathan Brown will pick for Round 1:

UPDATE 26/2: Brown has nominated rookies Luke Yates and Sam Stone for his Round 1 bench - so it's NSW Cup in Round 1 for Sam Mataora, Jacob Saifiti and probably Anthony Tupou. One will get a reprieve if Brown goes with no Randell or Pearsall on the bench.

  1. Dylan PHYTHIAN
  2. Ken SIO
  3. Dane GAGAI
  4. Peter MATA'UTIA
  5. Nathan ROSS
  6. Brock LAMB
  7. Trent HODKINSON
  8. Daniel SAIFITI
  9. Danny LEVI
  10. Josh STARLING
  11. Sione MATA'UTIA
  12. Jamie BUHRER
  13. Mitchell BARNETT
    BENCH
  14. Will PEARSALL (Tyler RANDELL if fit)
  15. Jack STOCKWELL
  16. Sam STONE
  17. Luke YATES
The Postman's Squad Analysis:
  • The Knights picked practically their strongest healthy lineup for the final trial v Canberra - but there's still a chance that Joe Wardle, Anthony Tupou, Sam Mataora and Tyler Randell could force their way in for Round 1. 
  • Wardle (the UK centre import) is the most in doubt for Round 1 and will likely return via NSW Cup, but new signing Tupou, Mataora and Randell are in their best 17 if all are match-fit. Mataora and Tupou are match-fit calls for Brown, while Randell has a minor hamstring issue.
  • Pearsall would make way for Randell as the bench hooker, unless Brown decides to roll the dice with Brendan Elliot as a utility instead.
  • Phythian has first crack at fullback and could hold onto the spot even when Wardle returns - with Peter Mata'utia the man most likely to miss out on a spot out wide as a result. Brock Lamb is Brown's man to partner Hodkinson in the halves with no Jarrod Mullen. 
  • The starting forward pack looks settled, with Rory Kostjasyn the only long term injury (mid-season return which opens the door for Randell) - but the bench could be anything. Jack Stockwell and Jacob Saifiti probably make the rotation with young backrowers Luke Yates or Sam Stone the bolters needing to get past Tupou and Mataora and maybe even Josh King for a spot in the 17.
Injured List:
Joe Wardle (Knee - Opening Rounds), Jarrod Mullen (Suspended for the season likely). Rory Kostjasyn (Throat - Round 8 on) and Pauli Pauli (Hip - Round 10).
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