Newcastle Knights vs St George Illawarra Dragons NRL Tips, Predictions and Match Preview - Knights and Dragons aiming for second win of the season

Andrew Hendrie 5 Apr 2019
  • Newcastle Knights face St George Illawarra Dragons in Round 4 of the NRL on Sunday
  • Dragons have won seven of their last eight meetings
Knights host Dragons on Sunday (PA Images)

Newcastle Knights aim to break a poor recent run against the St. George Illawarra Dragons when the two sides clash to conclude NRL Round 4 action on Sunday night.

Knights vs Dragons kicks off at 6.10pm AEST at McDonald Jones Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports in Australia.

Prediction

Match Preview


With both sides claiming just one win from the first three rounds, this is a big clash as the Knights and Dragons bring a close to Round 4 on Sunday night.

Newcastle easily could have been 3-0, but they lost by a combined margin of just nine points to the Panthers and Raiders over the last fortnight, following from their opening round win over Cronulla.

The Kalyn Ponga five-eighth experiment is over for the time being, with the supremely talented young gun moving back to his more natural position of fullback, meaning Mason Lino comes into the halves alongside Mitchell Pearce and Kurt Mann drops back to the bench.

Most Knights fans are in favour of Ponga shifting back to the No. 1 jersey, while Pearce will now be allowed total control of the halves.

Meanwhile, the Dragons surprised nearly everybody with their lightning quick start against the Broncos last week, racing out to a 12-0 lead at Suncorp and hanging on for a 25-24 victory as Corey Norman slotted over a last-gasp field goal.

It was a much-needed first win of the season for the Dragons, who can now get their season rolling as they look to keep pace with the top eight. Paul McGregor has been forced into one change, with the injured Gareth Widdop replaced at fullback by Matt Dufty, while Tyson Frizell could be a late inclusion after being named in the reserves.

The Dragons have won seven of their last eight meetings, but I think Newcastle have the edge at home in this one. Ponga will be much more dangerous at fullback when he can pop up when he pleases instead of having the responsibility of needing to create. It will be close, but I’m backing the Knights to get the job done.

Match odds


Newcastle Knights - $1.75
St George Illawarra Dragons - $2.05

Stats


  • Dragons have won their last two encounters
  • Dragons also won seven of the last eight
  • Five of their last six meetings have been decided by a 1-12 margin

Teams


Knights: 1 Kalyn Ponga, 2 Edrick Lee, 3 Hymel Hunt, 4 Jesse Ramien, 5 Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 6 Mason Lino, 7 Mitchell Pearce, 8 David Klemmer, 9 Danny Levi, 10 Tim Glasby, 11 Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12 Sione Mata’utia, 13 Mitchell Barnett. Interchange: 14 Kurt Mann, 15 Aidan Guerra, 16 Daniel Saifiti, 17 Josh King. Reserves: 18 Herman Ese’ese 19 Brodie Jones 20 Jamie Buhrer 21 Tautau Moga

Dragons: 1 Matt Dufty, 2 Jordan Pereira, 3 Euan Aitken, 4 Tim Lafai, 5 Mikaele Ravalawa, 6 Corey Norman, 7 Ben Hunt, 8 James Graham, 9 Cameron McInnes, 10 Paul Vaughan, 11 Jacob Host, 12 Tariq Sims, 13 Blake Lawrie. Interchange: 14 Jeremy Latimore, 15 Zac Lomax, 16 Korbin Sims, 17 Luciano Leilua. Reserves: 18 Tyson Frizell 19 Mitchell Allgood 20 Jai Field 21 Jonus Pearson

Tips


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Newcastle Knights vs St George Illawarra Dragons NRL Tips, Predictions and Match Preview - Knights and Dragons aiming for second win of the season

Newcastle Knights aim to break a poor recent run against the St. George Illawarra Dragons when the two sides clash to conclude NRL Round 4 action on Sunday night.

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