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06 Apr 2019 by Ash Wheldon

2019 NRL – Newcastle Knights vs St. George-Illawarra Dragons Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When is Newcastle Knights vs St. George-Illawarra Dragons taking place? Sunday 7th April, 09:10

Where is Newcastle Knights vs St. George-Illawarra Dragons taking place? McDonald Jones Stadium

What channel is Newcastle Knights vs St. George-Illawarra Dragons on?
UK – This match will not be televised live in the UK
Australia – Fox Sports

Where can I stream Newcastle Knights vs St. George-Illawarra Dragons?
UK – N/A
Australia – https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer

Where can I get tickets for Newcastle Knights vs St. George-Illawarra Dragons?
Newcastle Knights – https://tickets.nrl.com/team/500003

St. George-Illawarra Dragons – https://tickets.nrl.com/team/500022

THE TEAM NEWS

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

Head Coach: Nathan Brown

Starting 13: Ponga, Lee, Hunt, Ramien, Kenny-Dowall, Lino, Pearce, Klemmer, Levi, Glasby, Fitzgibbon, Mata’utia, Barnett – Interchanges: Mann, Guerra, D. Saifiti, King – Reserves: Ese’ese, Buhrer

Unavailable: Slade Griffin, Jacob Saifiti

  • Newcastle were second best once again as they fell to defeat against Canberra last week with the Knights struggling to create chances in attack which has resulted in a change to their spine this week.

  • Kalyn Ponga has been reverted back to the fullback position and that will allow Mason Lino to come in and play at five-eighth alongside Mitchell Pearce with that change hopefully sparking Nathan Brown’s side into a more fluent attacking structure.

  • It’s been a sad week for the Knights with cult hero Nathan Ross forced into early retirement because of injury whilst former player Scott Dureau has been detailing his battle with cancer with the Knights hoping to do Ross proud as he receives a farewell from the home crowd.

ST. GEORGE-ILLAWARRA DRAGONS

Head Coach: Paul McGregor

Starting 13: Dufty, Pereira, Aitken, Lafai, Ravalawa, Norman, Hunt, Graham, McInnes, Vaughan, Host, T. Sims, Lawrie – Interchanges: Latimore, Lomax, K. Sims, Frizell – Reserves: Allgood, Field

Unavailable: Jack de Belin, Gareth Widdop

  • St George picked up their first win of the season over Brisbane last week as Corey Norman’s last-gasp field-goal sealed the win but it came at a cost as the Dragons lost skipper Gareth Widdop.

  • Widdop suffered another dislocated shoulder and will be on the sidelines for an extended period with Matt Dufty given the #1 shirt as the Dragons look to make it back-to-back victories.

  • Tyson Frizell is a surprise inclusion having been named on the bench after made a quicker than expected recovery from a lacerated testicle that he suffered just a couple of weeks ago with Luciano Leilua the man to make way.

THE PREDICTION

Nathan Brown has decided to bite the bullet and revert Kalyn Ponga back to fullback with the experiment of him playing at five-eight failing to produce the results the Knights were hoping for. Newcastle will hope that change can spark a better performance against St George who won their first game of the year last week. They showed some good signs but the loss of Gareth Widdop will provide a challenge for the Dragons and whilst this game could go either way, the Knights can edge this on home soil.

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