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  • Snowden may miss Penrith clash

    2018 - 08.24

    Kade SnowdenTHE Knights are bracing for the prospect of losing both starting props for their game against Penrith at Hunter Stadium on Saturday as Kade Snowdenis battling a painful corked thigh.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Korbin Sims will miss home games against the Panthers and Dragons to serve a two-match suspension arising from two grade-one dangerous-throw charges in Newcastle’s 20-18 victory over Gold Coast at Robina on Sunday.

    Korbin Sims

    Snowden, voted players’ player against the Titans, has been named but could not train on Wednesday because of the injury and he instead received treatment.

    Knights coach Rick Stone chose veteran David Fa’alogo to replace Sims and added 23-year-old Paterika Vaivai to the bench for the game against the Panthers.

    Stone could have to dig deeper into the club’s pool of reserves if Snowden cannot participate in training on Friday, but he is confident his pack leader will play.

    NSW and Australian back-rower Beau Scott (ankle), playmaker Jarrod Mullen (neck) and international centre Joey Leilua (hand) are also being monitored by the club’s medical staff, though Mullen and Leilua trained on Wednesday and are considered likely to play.

    ‘‘A couple of those boys had a lighter day,’’ Stone said.

    ‘‘Beau’s ankle is still a bit sore and he was off legs today, and obviously so was Kade Snowden. He’s got a bit of a cork there.

    ‘‘Mullo’s had some scans, and he’s got a few more to have, but I think he’s pretty clear.

    ‘‘He trained without doing contact today, but he looked like he’s moving around all right to play, and BJ’s hand has come down pretty good and he looks like he’s going to be all right.

    ‘‘There’s a few bumps and bruises there but, overall, I think everyone will take their place.’’

    Snowden was a colossus against the Titans, running 21 times for 171metres and making 35 tackles in 59 minutes in the middle.

    In the wins against the Warriors, Cowboys and Titans he has averaged 17 runs for 140metres and 34 tackles in 51 minutes, and tallied four offloads, three tackle breaks and a line break.

    Winger James McManus and his NSW Cup counterpart Chanel Mata’utia did not complete training on Wednesday after accidentally banging heads during a drill and spilling blood.

    Stone was confident McManus would take his place on the left wing but Mata’utia was being checked for a broken nose and is in doubt for the NSW Cup curtain-raiser on Saturday.

    ‘‘When you’re training, particularly in the middle of the week, you’ve got to have some intensity and quality in your session,’’ Stone said.

    ‘‘We had a bit of a collision between James and young Chanel Mata’utia there, and there was a little bit of blood … but at the same time, to train on the edge and play with that sort of intensity and quality, you need to practise like that as well.

    Stone indicated utility Tyler Randell, one of five players named on the bench, could be the player to drop back to NSW Cup after being 18th man for the games against the Cowboys and Titans.

    Randell scored the go-ahead try and kicked a sideline conversion in the first half of Newcastle’s 24-14 victory over the Warriors three weeks ago, but Stone has preferred using skipper Kurt Gidley to give Adam Clydsdale a breather at dummy-half and introducing Sione Mata’utia off the bench to fill in for Gidley at fullback.

    ‘‘He’ll be right in the mix until Friday, until we make a decision on a few of those injured boys, but we probably do need to get him some footy if he doesn’t get a chance to play,’’ Stone said.

    ‘‘Obviously the rotation with Kurt and Sione at fullback, and Kurt and Clydsy at hooker, it’s worked OK for us.

    He said Randell had been patient after playing just one game.

    ‘‘He’s been a travelling reserve all the way up to Townsville and up to the Gold Coast, so he’s itching for some footy, and we’ll sort that out a little bit later in the week.’’

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