St George Illawarra Dragons Vs Newcastle Knights: NRL Round 26 Preview

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St George Illawarra Dragons Vs Newcastle Knights at UOW Jubilee Stadium

Cellar Dwellers hope to end season on high

The St George Illawarra Dragons and Newcastle Knights will end their 2016 campaigns at UOW Jubilee on the last Saturday afternoon of football in the season. Both sides have had very disappointing seasons and will be hoping the respite of the offseason will cure their ills.
The Dragons were paltry last Monday against Parramatta and the 12 point defeat flattered them at full time.
They have lost all confidence and their side to side play was again ineffective throughout the game. Having been a top 8 contender earlier in the year, the Red V will be bitterly disappointed of the slide that have endured and will again miss out on finals football for the 4th time in 5 years. Their match against the Knights won’t be a pushover and the Novacastrions will be pushing them to the limits in an attempt to get their 2nd win of the year. Poor old Newcastle have showed a lot fight and spirit this year but the results haven’t followed unfortunately. Their young squad will be better for the season and experience they have gained. Look for them to be a much more improved unit in 2017. Can they finish of the year with an upset?

Last Meeting: St George Illawarra Dragons 30 Defeated Newcastle Knights 18 at Hunter Stadium, Round 16, 2016.
The Dragons eased past the Knights earlier this year and do have a commanding record against the Hunter based club winning 23 of 33 matches against them dating back to 1999. Newcastle have managed to win 4 games out of the 12 played at UOW Jubilee Stadium however, but have lost the last 3 at Kogarah.

Who To Watch: For the Dragons, Benji Marshall is playing his final game in the Red V, look for an emotional day for him and hopefully for his own sake he can put in a stellar performance. It was the corresponding fixture last year at Kogarah that he scored that marvelous team try in the Dragons 46-24 triumph. Look for his kicking game to pin the Knights back 3 in their own 20 and get the Dragons defence on the front foot. He would love to go out a winner and set up a few tries for his team mates.

For the Knights, look for Jake Mamo to make an impact from the back and gain metres galore. The Dragons long kicking game has been one of the worst in the NRL and there will be opportunities for him to get space to showcase his speed and evasiveness. A young player that can be a lynchpin for the Knights, it’s important for him and the Knights to try and finish the season on high and take any opportunities that come their way.

The favourite: Dragons are favourites at home

My Tip: Neither of these sides exudes much confidence and have been awful over the last 8 weeks. The Dragons get the chocolates only because of the home advantage, however don’t be surprised to see the Knights challenge them all day and even cause the upset.
Dragons by 4

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