The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs will kick start their 2021 campaign with a trip up the F3 to do battle with the Newcastle Knights on Friday night (6pm).
It will be the third time the two sides have met in the opening round of a season since the Knights entered the competition in 1988.
The previous two encounters have gone the way of Newcastle, who claimed a 25-24 win in the season opener in 2007 and a 20-16 victory in 2010.
Since 1988, the two sides have met on 49 occasions with the Bulldogs claiming 27 victories, the Knights 21 and there was a 28 all draw in round three of the 2001 season.
The first ever meeting between the sides was back in round 11, 1988 at Belmore Sports Ground when the Phil Gould coached Dogs walked away with a 26-8 win thanks to a 16-point haul from club legend Terry Lamb.
The Bulldogs biggest victory over the Knights came in 2004, when the Dogs piled on 10 tries to one in a 52-6 thrashing at Sydney Olympic Park, while the 42-0 defeat in round 13 of 1995 is the club’s biggest loss.
Canterbury hold an impressive record against Newcastle over the past ten encounters, claiming eight victories from the 10 matches, as well as a record winning streak of six straight against the Novocastrians from round 8, 2014 until round 16, 2018.
Hazem El Masri has scored the most points (26) and kicked the most goals (10), while four Canterbury players (Hazem EL Masri x2, Terry Lamb and Ben Harris) have each scored three tries in games between the two sides.
This week’s season opener at McDonald Jones Stadium will be the 50th match between Canterbury and Newcastle.
Match: Knights v Bulldogs
Round 1 -
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle