2018 NRL – St George-Illawarra Dragons vs Newcastle Knights Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Sunday 01st April, 07:10 (UK)

Where? WIN Stadium

What channel is it on? UK – St George-Illawarra Dragons vs Newcastle Knights will not be televised live Australia - Nine Network, Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match? UK - N/A Australia - https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-...

Are tickets still available? https://www.dragons.com.au/gam...

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

DRAGONS

Head Coach: Paul McGregor

Starting 13: Dufty, Macdonald, Aitken, Lafai, Nightingale, Widdop, Hunt, Graham, McInnes, Vaughan, Frizell, Sims, De Belin – Interchanges: Leilua, Mann, Ah Mau, Sele – Reserves: Latimore, Lomax, Host, Lawrie

Unavailable:

  • St George continued their superb start to the season as they ran in nine tries to hammer Gold Coast last week. The early league leaders were irresistible at times and proved far too good for the Titans.
  • Paul McGregor still has the luxury of naming the same 17 with his side avoiding any injuries and suspensions so far this season.
  • The Dragons have already posted 108 points so far this season, an average of 36 points per game. With opponents Newcastle conceding 38 in their game against the Roosters last week, the Dragons will be confident of maintaining that impressive figure.

KNIGHTS

Head Coach: Nathan Brown

Starting 13: Ponga, Kenny-Dowall, S. Mata'utia, Moga, Ross, Lamb, Pearce, Ese'ese, Griffin, Lillyman, Fitzgibbon, Guerra, Barnett – Interchanges: Buhrer, Heighington, S. Saifiti, D. Saifiti – Reserves: Sio, Cogger, Levi, Yates

Unavailable: Dylan Phythian, Connor Watson

  • Newcastle’s 100% start to the season came crashing to a halt as they were comfortably beaten by Sydney Roosters last week. The Roosters ran in seven tries as they downed the Knights 38-8.
  • Connor Watson is unavailable after he picked up a shoulder injury so Brock Lamb replaces him at five-eighth. Chris Heighington also returns after he was a late dropout last week.
  • Despite their promising start to the season, the Knights have conceded an average of 28 points per game in their three games. They now come up against the free-scoring Dragons and will need to tighten up in defence to prevent them ruining their good start.

THE PREDICTION

St George have set the early pace in the NRL and look like they could be this year’s surprise package. They were very impressive when putting Gold Coast to the sword last week and now face a Newcastle side coming off a heavy loss. The Knights were outclassed by Sydney Roosters but wouldn’t have grumbled with four points from six if that had been offered to them at the start of the season. With St George looking in ominous form, Newcastle will have a big task on their hands to try and stop the early league leaders from extending their winning streak with the Dragons capable of posting another big score.