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Round 16 preview: Knights v Titans

A season that started with such promise has fallen away for two clubs who played finals in 2021 and would have had designs on being part of the September action again this year.

The Knights launched their campaign with wins over the Roosters and Tigers before hitting the skids with seven straight losses while Gold Coast won two of their first four and pushed Parramatta and Canberra in the other two.

As they head into Round 16, the Titans sit 16th, whereas the Knights are 12th - three wins outside the eight - but they can take some comfort in the fact their run home includes games against the Bulldogs and Tigers.

To say this is a must-win match for both sides would be a massive understatement and with so much at stake, this shapes as a gripping struggle in front of the loyal Newcastle faithful.

The Rundown

Team news

Knights: Star fullback Kalyn Ponga has been ruled out after suffering a concussion in Origin Two and his place is taken by Tex Hoy. Prop Daniel Saifiti (knee) and centre Bradman Best (elbow) are listed in the reserves and could be a chance to return in a boost for Adam O'Brien. Dane Gagai has a five-day turnaround after the Origin game in Perth and will be monitored. 

Titans: Superstar David Fifita (knee) will return via the bench for his first game since Round 12 while veterans Kevin Proctor (biceps) and Corey Thompson (knee) are listed among the reserves as they eye a return to action. Captain Tino Fa'asuamaleaui has been named to back up from Origin while Moeaki Fotuaika is good to go after representing Tonga on Saturday and will come off the bench.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Knights is number 1 Tex Hoy
    Fullback for Titans is number 1 Alexander Brimson
  • Winger for Knights is number 2 Edrick Lee
    Winger for Titans is number 2 Greg Marzhew
  • Centre for Knights is number 3 Dane Gagai
    Centre for Titans is number 3 Brian Kelly
  • Centre for Knights is number 4 Enari Tuala
    Centre for Titans is number 4 Patrick Herbert
  • Winger for Knights is number 5 Dominic Young
    Winger for Titans is number 5 Jamayne Isaako
  • Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Anthony Milford
    Five-Eighth for Titans is number 6 Paul Turner
  • Halfback for Knights is number 7 Adam Clune
    Halfback for Titans is number 7 Toby Sexton


  • Prop for Knights is number 8 David Klemmer
    Prop for Titans is number 8 Jarrod Wallace
  • Hooker for Knights is number 9 Chris Randall
    Hooker for Titans is number 9 Erin Clark
  • Prop for Knights is number 22 Daniel Saifiti
    Prop for Titans is number 10 Isaac Liu
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Tyson Frizell
    2nd Row for Titans is number 11 Sam McIntyre
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Mitchell Barnett
    2nd Row for Titans is number 12 Beau Fermor
  • Lock for Knights is number 13 Kurt Mann
    Lock for Titans is number 13 Tino Fa'asuamaleaui


  • Interchange for Knights is number 10 Jacob Saifiti
    Interchange for Titans is number 14 Tanah Boyd
  • Interchange for Knights is number 14 Simi Sasagi
    Interchange for Titans is number 15 Moeaki Fotuaika
  • Interchange for Knights is number 15 Leo Thompson
    Interchange for Titans is number 17 David Fifita
  • Interchange for Knights is number 16 Mat Croker
    Interchange for Titans is number 19 Herman Ese'ese


  • Replacement for Knights is number 19 Lachlan Fitzgibbon
    Replacement for Titans is number 18 Corey Thompson

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Butler
  • Touch Judge: Nick Beashel
  • Touch Judge: Jon Stone
  • Senior Review Official: Matt Noyen

Last updated:

Key match-up

David Klemmer v Isaac Liu: With 403 games of experience between them, Klemmer and Liu have huge roles to play in trying to turn around the fortunes of their clubs. Klemmer has been immense for the Knights, churning out 144 metres per game and slipping 22 offloads in his 10 matches. Two-time premiership winner Liu's value to the Titans goes far beyond his 99 run metres and 27 tackles per match, as he imparts the knowledge acquired over 217 games at the elite level. No quarter will be asked or given as two of the game's true warriors leave it all on the park in search of victory.

Stat Attack

The Knights have won just one of six matches on their home patch this season, taking care of Wests Tigers 26-4 back in round two. Since then they have lost to Manly, Parramatta, Melbourne, Brisbane and Penrith at McDonald Jones Stadium, conceding 197 points and scoring just 28. Last year the Knights were 5-4 at home before the competition was transferred to Queensland due to COVID. The Titans are 1-8 away from Cbus Super Stadium in 2022.

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.