The Panthers went about their business in clinical fashion against the Bulldogs and got the job done even without six of their big-name stars on Origin duty.
How many of those players back up after Wednesday's series opener remains to be seen but such is the Panthers' depth that they will go in as clear favourites to rack up a 13th win of the season.
The Knights are coming off a win in Round 12 and a bye in Round 13 so they should be refreshed and ready to take the game up to the premiers.
The Knights have Kalyn Ponga and Dane Gagai on show for Queensland and both are likely to back up should they get through the game with a clean bill of health.
Panthers v Knights: Round 14
Panthers: Nathan Cleary, Liam Martin, Isaah Yeo, Stephen Crichton, Brian To'o and Jarome Luai have all been named by coach Ivan Cleary to back up. The only change to the squad that beat the Cowboys in round 12 is Matt Eisenhuth earning a spot on the bench ahead of Spencer Leniu. The likes of Sean O'Sullivan, Kurt Falls and Chris Smith are listed among the reserves and could step up if any of the Origin stars are rested or pick up an injury.
NRL Teamlist Video: Round 14
Knights: A boost for the Knights with utility Kurt Mann named to return from an ankle injury for his first game since round seven, pushing Phoenix Crossland to the reserves. Jacob Saifiti moves into the starting side to replace his brother Daniel, who is out with a knee injury. Leo Thompson comes onto the bench. Skipper Kalyn Ponga and Dane Gagai have been named to back up from Origin. Tex Hoy is listed among the reserves and could slot in at fullback should Ponga fail to come up.
Match: Knights v Panthers
Round 14 -
Fullback for Knights is number 1 Kalyn PongaFullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan Edwards
Winger for Knights is number 2 Edrick LeeWinger for Panthers is number 2 Taylan May
Centre for Knights is number 3 Dane GagaiCentre for Panthers is number 3 Izack Tago
Centre for Knights is number 4 Enari TualaCentre for Panthers is number 4 Stephen Crichton
Winger for Knights is number 5 Dominic YoungWinger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'o
Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Anthony MilfordFive-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Jarome Luai
Halfback for Knights is number 7 Jake CliffordHalfback for Panthers is number 7 Nathan Cleary
Prop for Knights is number 8 David KlemmerProp for Panthers is number 8 Moses Leota
Hooker for Knights is number 9 Chris RandallHooker for Panthers is number 9 Apisai Koroisau
Prop for Knights is number 10 Jacob SaifitiProp for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Tyson Frizell2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau
2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Lachlan Fitzgibbon2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Liam Martin
Lock for Knights is number 13 Mitchell BarnettLock for Panthers is number 16 Matthew Eisenhuth
Interchange for Knights is number 14 Kurt MannInterchange for Panthers is number 14 Mitch Kenny
Interchange for Knights is number 15 Simi SasagiInterchange for Panthers is number 15 Scott Sorensen
Interchange for Knights is number 16 Leo ThompsonInterchange for Panthers is number 17 Jaeman Salmon
Interchange for Knights is number 17 Mat CrokerInterchange for Panthers is number 22 Spencer Leniu
Replacement for Knights is number 18 Pasami SauloReplacement for Panthers is number 18 Robert Jennings
- Referee: Ben Cummins
- Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
- Touch Judge: Jon Stone
- Senior Review Official: Gerard Sutton
Jacob Saifiti v James Fisher-Harris: Having earned selection in Brad Fittler's NSW squad, Saifiti should be walking taller as he returns to his club team for a showdown with the competition's benchmark team. Now a veteran of 110 games in the NRL, Saifiti knows what is required to take the fight up to Fisher-Harris, Moses Leota and co. In 12 appearances this year, JFH has churned out 147 metres per game, 15 tackle breaks and made 30 tackles a game, emphasising his importance to the premiers with a string of high-quality performances.
Last week was a milestone for our club: Cleary
The Knights have won just one of five games at McDonald Jones Stadium this season and been outscored 159 to 48 across those five matches. The losses came against Manly (30-6), Parramatta (39-2), Melbourne (50-2) and Brisbane (36-12). The Knights won five of nine games at McDonald Jones last season.