Every sign is pointing to a positive season for the Knights, and that all starts here.
They come up against an experienced Cronulla outfit, who now boast Shaun Johnson in their ranks.
Why Newcastle can win
The problem for the Knights in recent seasons has been that they were too young and small, especially in the forward pack.
But with origin forwards David Klemmer and Tim Glasby in the side, this won't be an issue here, even up against Fifita and Co.
If the Knights can break-even in the meter game, then the devastating speed and power of Kayln Ponga will prove the difference.
Ponga is starting in the halves though, and might take a few weeks to hit top gear.
Why Cronulla can win
One word. Experience.
With the likes of Paul Gallen, Matt Prior and new recruits Josh Morris and Shaun Johnson, the Sharks know the importance of getting the season off to a winning start better than any side in the competition.
Their side does lack speed though, so if they do win, it'll be typically gritty.
They face a tough test away from home and it's likely that Johnson will take some time to click with his new teammates.
Key NRL Stats
Cronulla have won their last 8 games against Newcastle: Sharks to win @ $1.90
The Knights have failed to cover the line in in 9 of their previous 12 Friday night matches at home: Sharks to cover the +1.5 line @ $1.90
Shaun Kenny-Dowell has scored a try in 3 of Newcastle's last 4 home games: SKD to score a try @ $2.20
NRL Betting Tip: Knights to win @ $1.90
Reasoning: It'll be close, but with the boisterous Novacastrian crowd and a fully fit Ponga ready to go, expect the Knights to scrape over the line.