James Graham will lead from the front on Saturday night. Picture: Mark Evans/heraldsun.com.au
Canterbury Bulldogs v Newcastle Knights
Saturday April 26 – 7:35 PM (AEST)
The Canterbury Bulldogs have gone three in a row, all by one point. Becoming the first team in history to do so, they have once again joined the premiership powerhouses. They come up against a struggling Newcastle Knights outfit, who have only won two of their opening seven games.
The Doggies have been the inform team of the competition. Beating both the Roosters and the Rabbitohs in the last three weeks, they have shown that they are not to be toiled with. James Graham is playing like a man who wants a ring. With his strength and power, he leads from the front. But add in his footwork and ball playing, he is dangerous all over the field. With Josh Reynolds and Trent Hodkinson leading the team around the paddock, the second man play to Graham has become a deadly weapon. Des Hasler has named an unchanged side, but look for Greg Eastwood to start at lock, pushing Dale Finucane to the bench.
The Knights, much like the Cronulla Sharks, have been the disappointment of the season. Injuries to both Jarrod Mullen and Darius Boyd have hampered their success, but with the experience they have across the board, that excuse is starting the wear thin. Kade Snowden returning from concussion is the only change, replacing the suspended Willie Mason in the front row.
History favours the Novocastrians, having won 6 of their past 8 games against the Dogs, but that will mean nothing if the Knights fail to slow down the Doggies big men. Will this be another one-point thriller? No. The Bulldogs will win by a lot more.
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