Penrith Panthers (2-0) v Newcastle Knights (2-0)
Sunday May 31st 2020, 16:05 AEST 2:05 AM EST
NRL Rugby League - Line Panthers -2.5/Knights +2.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Penrith Panthers and Newcastle Knights clash on Saturday in round 3 NRL action.
This game is set to be one of the clashes of the round as both the Penrith Panthers and the Newcastle Knights sit atop the competition with wins in both of the opening rounds. The Panthers defeated reigning premiers the Sydney Roosters in round 1 20-14 before accounting for the St George Dragons late 32-28. The Knights have looked good across their first two performances belting the Warriors 20-0 before racking up 42 points against the Tigers in a 42-24 win.
For Penrith dummy half Apisai Koroisau has provided a much-needed spark around the middle of the park while halfback Nathan Cleary has done a great job or coordinating the plays. Due to team social distancing breaches, Cleary has accepted a two-match suspension with his likely replacement debutant Matt Burton. I like the diversity of the Panthers forwards in that they have backrowers in Kikau, Yeo and Fisher-Harris that can get the work done in the middle but also provide a viable edge option. Utility Stephen Crichton also provides good positional coverage off the bench. The Panthers will also welcome back from injury Dylan Edwards who will like resume his role at fullback.
Newcastle crushed the Tigers in their round two clash managing 42 points. Kalyn Pongas’ goal kicking left more potential points on the field managing just 5 from 8 attempts. Knights completed 86% of their possessions running for a total of 1565 metres on 172 carries. Minimal errors and a strong kicking game saw them dominate both the time in possession counts and the territory. Knights have a significantly underrated team, which is evident by the fact they can afford the luxury of players such as Connor Watson, Jacob Saifiti, Tim Glasby and Aidan Guerra on their interchange roster.
Knights will be without Kalyn Ponga in this game as he serves suspension but I feel they have the players to fill the void of his loss. Mitchell Pearce has been one of the form halves in the game over the last couple of seasons and I feel that with the talent on the bench for the Knights they can grind out a low scoring win so I will gladly grab the 2.5 points with them.