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Fourth-placed Newcastle will be looking to hop off the roller-coaster and claim their first-back-to-back wins since the opening two rounds when they take on last-placed Canterbury.

The Knights have alternated wins and losses for the past seven rounds but the one-win Bulldogs, who collapsed late with victory in their grasp against the Dragons, present a golden opportunity to end that streak.

The struggles of young guns Kalyn Ponga and Bradman Best had hobbled the Newcastle attack against Manly and Parramatta but the dynamic duo were back to their best as the Knights raced to a 20-0 lead over the Rabbitohs on Saturday.

Canterbury's 22 points equalled their best output of the season, also against St George Illawarra, but failed to deliver a first-up win for stand-in coach Steve Georgallis.

The Rundown

Team news

Knights: Newcastle have made two late changes to their starting side with Sione Mata'utia and Mitch Barnett coming into the pack in place of Herman Ese'ese and Aidan Guerra who drop back to the bench. Josh King and Gehamat Shibasaki are the final cuts from the Knights 17. Tex Hoy and Phoenix Crossland were omitted from the game-day squad 24 hours before kick-off.

Newcastle have won three of their past four games at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Bulldogs: Canterbury are 1-17 with Dean Britt and Reimis Smith dropping out of the match-day squad. Jake Averillo returns from quarantine at centre with Marcelo Montoya shifting to wing and Christian Crichton out. Brandon Wakeham replaces Sauaso Sue on the bench. Chris Smith and Jack Cogger were cut from the 19-man squad on Saturday.

Canterbury have won seven of their past eight games against the Knights.

Key match-up

David Klemmer v Dylan Napa: Knights forward leader Klemmer has been so successful adding an offload to his high workrate that he is tied for the NRL in that category with Eels Junior Paulo. Maroons prop Napa topped the tackle count for Canterbury against the Dragons and will have to shut down his Origin rival in the middle if the Bulldogs are to have any hope of sticking with the Knights. 

Stat Attack

The cellar-dwelling Bulldogs need to pull up their socks on both sides of the ball. They lead the NRL in handling errors and are third for missed tackles. It was yet another dropped ball that gifted the Dragons two points at WIN Stadium. Failure to aim up in those categories will condemn them to a very long afternoon in Newcastle.