New Zealand Warriors vs Newcastle Knights Predictions and Betting Tips
🏈 NRL Final Round Week 2 Match Preview
⏰ 16 September 2023 - 16:05 AEST
🏟 Stadium - Mt. Smart Stadium (Auckland)
The New Zealand Warriors will host the Newcastle Knights in an entertaining NRL preliminary final this Saturday night. The clash will take place on September 16, 2023 at 4:05pm AEST at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.
AusBetSites provides betting odds from 38 bookmakers across 23 betting markets for this matchup. Currently, the Warriors are narrow 1.5 favourites to defeat the in-form Knights.
This will be the Warriors' first finals appearance since 2008. Both teams come into this elimination final after outstanding regular seasons, with a coveted spot in the preliminary finals against Brisbane on the line.
The Warriors have won 4 straight games in Auckland, but their momentum has slowed recently. In contrast, the Knights are riding a remarkable 10-game winning streak and will equal their club record set in 2001-02 with one more victory.
Newcastle boast arguably the NRL's best backline, with wingers Dominic Young and Greg Marzhew combining for 46 tries this season. Fullback Kalyn Ponga has also returned to his scintillating best after overcoming concussion issues.
Last week, the Knights survived a tough test from Canberra to advance 30-28 after Ponga nailed a clutch penalty goal in extra time. Meanwhile, the Warriors were outclassed by Penrith away without injured playmaker Shaun Johnson.
Johnson is named to return this week but there are doubts over his fitness. Newcastle are also dealing with an injury absence in the halves, with Adam Clune replacing Jackson Hastings.
New Zealand Warriors vs Newcastle Knights Head-to-Head
The recent head-to-head record between the New Zealand Warriors and Newcastle Knights is incredibly tight. Over the past 8 years, the teams have met 15 times with the Knights holding a narrow 8-7 edge in wins. There have been no draws in their last 15 clashes. The Knights have had slightly more success in recent matchups, winning 8 of the past 15 compared to just 7 wins for the Warriors. With such little separating these two finals contenders based on their head-to-head history, this preliminary final shapes as a highly competitive contest that could go either way. Both teams will feel they have the firepower to get the win and advance based on how evenly matched they have been over the past decade. With a place in the next round up for grabs, expect both the Warriors and Knights to leave nothing in the tank as they strive to break this evenly-poised rivalry trend.
New Zealand Warriors Performance
🟩🟩🟩🟥🟥 The New Zealand Warriors enter this elimination final with mixed form over their past 5 games. The Warriors have posted a 3-2 record during this stretch, with wins over the Dragons, Bulldogs and Broncos. However, they also suffered losses to top sides Penrith and Melbourne in the lead up to the finals. Overall, the Warriors' recent performances have been solid if not spectacular. With 3 victories in their last 5, they will gain confidence, but their two defeats were heavy losses to premiership favorites. The Warriors will need to find their best form to challenge the in-form Knights.
Newcastle Knights Performance
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 Newcastle Knights carry outstanding momentum into this preliminary final, winning their last 5 games leading into the finals. The Knights have defeated the Sharks, Sea Eagles, Rabbitohs, Titans and Raiders during their 5 game winning run. Newcastle have found ways to win against various styles of opponents and dug deep to edge Canberra in extra time last week. Their perfect record over the past month proves the Knights are peaking at the right end of the season. Newcastle's consistency and resilience has them riding a 10-game winning streak overall. With their form and confidence sky high, the Knights will prove tough to beat.
📋 Players to watch:
- Dominic Young (25 tries) and Greg Marzhew (21 tries) have scored 46 tries combined this season
- Dallin Watene-Zelezniak has crossed for 8 tries in his last 6 home games at Go Media Stadium
- Bradman Best has scored 8 tries in his past 9 matches
- Kalyn Ponga has notched 4 tries in his last 6 appearances
⚡ Match Facts:
- The Knights have won 4 of the past 5 matches against the Warriors
- Each of the last 5 games between the teams has been decided by 10 points or less
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💡 Match Prediction:
The Knights have won 8 of the last 15 meetings between these teams. They are also in red hot form, winning 10 straight games coming into this clash. With attacking weapons like Ponga firing, the Knights can continue their dominance over the Warriors. Newcastle Knights to win.
Betting Tip: Back Newcastle -3.5 at 1.91 odds. The Knights have covered this line in 5 of their last 7 wins over the Warriors. Considering Newcastle's superior form and the close head-to-head history, the Knights covering a small handicap looks a good bet.
Total Points Prediction: Over 44.5 total points at 1.95 odds. The last 5 matches between these teams have averaged 46 total points. Both sides boast attacking firepower and the Knights have scored 30+ in their last 3. An open, free-flowing game will see this go over.
Overall, Newcastle's outstanding form and superior head-to-head record make them deserving favorites for this preliminary final. Their red-hot attack led by Ponga and wingers Young and Marzhew can outscore the Warriors. Backing the in-form Knights to cover the small handicap looks the safest betting option.
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