Last Start Losers Lock Horns

Source: Gregg Porteous/foxsports.com.au
Willie Mason has been one of the Knights best this season. Source: Gregg Porteous/foxsports.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

Round 5, 2013 – St George Illawarra Dragons 19 d Newcastle Knights 16 at WIN Jubilee Oval
Round 7, 2012 - St George Illawarra Dragons 12 d Newcastle Knights 4 at WIN Jubilee Oval
Round 1, 2012 – St George Illawarra Dragons 15 d Newcastle Knights 14 at Hunter Stadium
Round 17, 2011 – Newcastle Knights 14 d St George Illawarra Dragons 10 at WIN stadium
Round 4, 2011 - St George Illawarra Dragons 20 d Newcastle Knights 18 at Hunter Stadium

Current Form

  Rd 8    Rd 9    Rd 10    Rd 11    Rd 12 
Knights

L

L

W

L

L

Dragons

L

L

W

L

L


Backrower Alex McKinnon has been ruled out of the Knights  match against the Dragons  at Hunter Stadium on Saturday after suffering an ankle injury against the Rabbitohs last weekend and joins a long injury list at the club. Representative stars Kurt Gidley, Akuila Uate and Beau Scott are amongst nine members of the first grade squad currently on the sidelines. Wayne Bennett got a much needed boost during the week however, with Darius Boyd expected to play at fullback after coming through Wednesday’s State of Origin series opener with no signs of the ankle injury that hampered his preparations for the match.

Both Brett Morris and Trent Merrin are expected to line up for the Dragons but the big change for them is the axing of Premiership winning five-eight Jamie Soward, who has been relegated to the NSW Cup. Chase Stanley replaces him in the halves with Nathan Green returning at centre, while Dan Hunt comes back into the side after being a late withdrawal for the team that suffered a narrow 16-14 defeat to the Bulldogs last Friday night.

1st Tryscorer

James McManus  is the joint top tryscorer in the NRL with 11 tries from the opening 12 rounds of the season and has had a knack of getting across the line first for his team. He has bagged the first four- pointer for Newcastle in three of the clubs past seven fixtures.

Nathan Green  may have played just once for St George Illawarra this season but he made a big impression against Manly in round eight. He bagged two of his side’s three tries on that day and deserves another chance in first grade.

Prediction

Although both of these sides are coming off two straight defeats, there was merit in the way that they performed without key men last weekend. Newcastle only lost to the table-topping Rabbitohs by seven points at ANZ Stadium in round 12 and will be much happier back at Hunter Stadium. They thumped the Bulldogs 44-8 the last time they played at the ground and have won five of six at home during the current campaign, while the Dragons have won just three of their past 15 away fixtures. Newcastle Knights by 6 #QL_SS#1167566208341#SS#

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