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Newcastle Knights vs St George Dragons Tips - Newcastle to get back on track

jeremy-darke
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Last updated: 03 Apr 2024
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Jeremy Darke 03 Apr 2024
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  • Newcastle Knights vs St George Dragons expert predictions for Friday’s Round 5 NRL game
  • Kick off is at 8:05 PM at McDonald Jones Stadium
  • Knights' Kalyn Ponga is expected to shine and take the team towards victory.
  • Preview, expert analysis, stats, team news & best bet
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Kalyn Ponga
Kalyn Ponga back to his best last game against the Warriors. (Getty Images)

Newcastle Knights vs St George Dragons Tips


The Newcastle Knights are in a very different position to where we expected them to be at this stage of the season, but a good win against the Dragons, who have surprised this season, will steady things in the Hunter. 

In my opinion, the Knights played a much better game against the Warriors than they have all season, obviously on the back of a much more improved performance from their star fullback Kalyn Ponga. Although the Dragons defence has appeared to have improved under Shane Flanagan, it is not at the standard that can contain Ponga if he is on again. 

I expect Newcastle to put on a show at McDonald Jones Stadium in front of their fans on Friday Night Footy and blow this game out of touch early against the Dragons, eliminating any chance of a fast start for St. George again. 

The defence of the Saints will be put under immense pressure and Newcastle will break through for their biggest score of the season and surpass their team total of 22.5 points. The line of 7.5 is a little ominous considering the form on paper between these two sides. I am going to go cautious and take the shorter odds for just a win for the Knights. 

The Dragons have conceded 10 of their 18 tries on the right side of their defensive line and with Ponga firing we can expect that Bradman Best will add to his single try that he has scored this season.

  • Newcastle have won 3 of the past 5 games against St. George.
  • Newcastle have scored 32 points or more in the past 3 victories against the Dragons.
  • The Dragons conced the second-most run metrees in the NRL with an average of 1,501 per game.
  • The Dragons concede 56% of their tries on the right-hand side of their defence.

Head to Head 


The Knights had no problem dismantling the Dragons last season, winning 32-12 in round 27, even with Kalyn Ponga missing from the match for the Knights.

The head to head record is split 3-3 over the past five seasons between Newcastle and St. George

Newcastle Knights Form Analysis


Recent Form
Last 5 W/LLast 5 ATSLast 5 O/U
1-33-10-4

It was an extremely tight contest in New Zealand when the Knights fell 20-12 to the warriors at home last Sunday. 

Not much could split the teams on the stat sheet and it was as simple as the Warriors making the most of their chances with both teams playing very solid goal line defence. 

The good news for the Knights in their loss was the individual performance of Kalyn Ponga, who had his best game of the year with 2 linebreaks, 3 linebreak assists and a try assists, being involved in everything positive that the Knights attack threw at the Warriors.

Newcastle Knights Team News


Dane Gagai returns in the centres with Dylan Lucas dropping to the reserves.

The Knights halves pairings are still unsettled, this time Jackson Hastings will pair with Jack Cogger and Tyson Gamble will sit out this week.

Leo Thompson returns from suspension with Daniel Saifiti moving to the bench and Brodie Jones to the reserves.

Newcastle Knights Team List


1. Kalyn Ponga
2. Tom Jenkins
3. Dane Gagai
4. Bradman Best
5. Enari Tuala
6. Jack Cogger
7. Jackson Hastings
8. Jacob Saifiti
9. Jayden Brailey
10. Leo Thompson
11. Tyson Frizell
12. Kai Pearce-Paul
13. Adam Elliott

Interchange
14. Phoenix Crossland
15. Daniel Saifiti
16. Jack Hetherington
17. Mat Croker

Reserves
18. Dylan Lucas
19. Jed Cartwright
20. Brodie Jones
21. Tyson Gamble
​​​​​​​22. Thomas Cant

St George Dragons Form Analysis


Recent Form
Last 5 W/LLast 5 ATSLast 5 O/U
2-22-21-3

Who would have thought the Dragons would be 2-2 with a couple of good wins under their belt after 4 rounds of the season, but kudos to Shane Flanagan and the team for getting it done against Manly last week. 

It was another fast start form the Dragons that pantsed Manly, going into the break 14-6 and pushing their lead to 20-6 mid-way through the second half. 

St. George defended for long periods in their own half and stopped the progress of Manly, which has to be a positive sign for the club and is a vast improvement on last season. 

St George Dragons Team News


Michael Molo comes onto the bench and replaces Hame Sele in the only change for the Dragons this week.

St George Dragons Team List


1. Tyrell Sloan
2. Zac Lomax
3. Moses Suli
4. Jack Bird
5. Mikaele Ravalawa
6. Kyle Flanagan
7. Ben Hunt 
8. Francis Molo
9. Jacob Liddle
10. Jack de Belin
11. Luciano Leilua
12. Jaydn Su'A
13. Tom Eisenhuth

Interchange
14. Jesse Marschke
15. Blake Lawrie
16. Michael Molo
17. Raymond Faitala-Mariner

Reserves
18. Hame Sele
19. Christian Tuipulotu
20.Viliami Fifita
21. Toby Couchman
​​​​​​​22. Ben Murdoch-Masila

Newcastle Knights vs St George Dragons NRL 2024 Round 5 FAQs

How to watch Newcastle Knights vs St George Dragons NRL 2024 Round 5?

You can watch the Newcastle Knights vs St George Dragons NRL 2024 Round 5 game via Fox Sports or Kayo Sports. If you are watching from outside of Australia the WatchNRL app is the perfect solution.

How to buy tickets to Newcastle Knights vs St George Dragons NRL 2024 Round 5?

To buy tickets to the Newcastle Knights vs St George Dragons NRL 2024 Round 5 game check the NRL website or the official Newcastle Knights site.

Verdict

The Knights to get their season back on track with a win over the Dragons, scoring over 22.5 points in the match.

Kalyn Ponga came alive last game for Newcastle and he will find Bradman Best on the left side of their attack and the centre will cross for a try.

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