NRL match preview: Newcastle Knights vs St George Illawarra Dragons

Date:Sunday, September 7 2014
Venue:Hunter Stadium, Newcastle

Knights: 1 Kurt Gidley (c) 2 Chanel Mata’utia 3 Dane Gagai 4 Joey Leilua 5 Sione Mata’utia 6 Jarrod Mullen 7 Tyrone Roberts 8 David Fa’alogo 9 Adam Clydsdale 10 Willie Mason 11 Beau Scott 12 Robbie Rochow 13 Adam Cuthbertson Interchange: 14 Travis Waddell 15 Korbin Sims 17 Chris Houston 18 Timana Tahu

Dragons: 1 Gerard Beale 2 Brett Morris 3 Josh Dugan 4 Peter Mata’utia 5 Jason Nightingale 6 Gareth Widdop 7 Benji Marshall 8 Mike Cooper 9 Kyle Stanley 10 Tyson Frizell 11 Jack de Belin 12 Joel Thompson 13 Trent Merrin Interchange: 14 Shane Pumipi 15 Will Matthews 16 Bronson Harrison 17 Leeson Ah Mau

Two teams with little to play for meet at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle on Sunday, but with the pressures of playing for finals spots off them, we could be in for an exciting match.

The Dragons’ brave bid for September football ended at the hands of the Broncos last week, while the Knights have been out of contention for some time.

The match features three of the most talented brothers in the NRL, and I’m not talking Burgesses, I’m talking about Sione, Chanel and Peter Mata’utia who play against each other for the first time. Sione and Chanel have been a revelation on the flanks for the Knights, while Peter has earned a first grade spot at a club with great depth out wide.

Adam Clydesdale lines up at hooker for the Knights, with Travis Waddell coming onto the bench. For the Dragons, Kyle Stanley replaces the suspended Mitch Rein at hooker while Mike Cooper replaces the injured Ben Creagh at prop.

The Dragons will finish in 11th position regardless of results across the weekend, while the Knights could finish anywhere between 12th and 14th. The Dragons have shown promising signs over the last few weeks while the Knights were hammered 48-6 by the Broncos in round 24 before beating the Eels 42-12 in round 25.

Dragons by 12.

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