Who wants this more?
It is one of the hardest games of the weekend to pick with the bottom two teams in the competition doing battle in a bid to avoid the dreaded wooden spoon.
Between them they have conceded a whopping 779 points through the opening 16 rounds and are sitting six wins outside the eight with very little hope of making the semis.
Newcastle let themselves down again last week after racing out to a 28-10 lead at the break against the Dragons at Kogarah, conceding 22 unanswered points in the second half to lose 32-28.
Wests Tigers are now riding a seven-game losing streak after dropping a 26-12 result against the Titans.
FAILING TO GO THE 80 MINUTES
NEWCASTLE doesn’t have a problem with how they start matches.
Nathan Brown’s side has led at the break on eight occasions in 2017 and that includes six of their past seven games, however, they aren’t going on with the job in the second half.
The young Knights have shown they can throw punches against some of the best in the business with recent leads against the likes of the Panthers, Sea Eagles and Dragons.
It’s their second 40 minutes which is a real concern as they have only converted one of those eight leads they’ve had into a win.
Considering they are first half specialists we are recommending, as we do nearly every week, to back the Knights to lead at half-time ($1.80 @ TAB).
The WESTS TIGERS should be worried about this game.
They have really struggled to play Newcastle in recent times and have only taken the points on two occasions from the past seven occasions they have met.
While Newcastle has only scored three wins since the start of the 2016 season, one of those was against the Wests Tigers which came in Round 6 last year – the only victory Newcastle had for the season.
The Tigers did get some sort of revenge just over a month later with an eight point win at Campbelltown.
On face value you would have to think the Tigers are due to break their losing run.
They get NSW fullback James Tedesco back in the side and with Aaron Woods having had ample time to recover from the rigours of Origin, they are definitely the X-factor that the visitors need if they are to get a result.
The $2.12 @ Unibet is appealing but with a side that is so out of form we cannot back with them a great deal of confidence.
Off the back of that we are willing to take the shorts about Newcastle ($1.85 @ Unibet).
All three of their wins since the start of last season have been at Hunter Stadium and off the back of three straight away fixtures, they would love nothing more than to get back home in front of the Newcastle faithful and put up a proud display.
NEWCASTLE TO LEAD AT HALF-TIME
KEN SIO FIRST TRYSCORER – has four tries in four games against the Tigers