Preview: Round 5 v Newcastle Knights
By Nathan Beuman
The St George Illawarra Dragons will look to make it three in a row when they take on the undefeated Newcastle Knights at Hunter Stadium, Newcastle on Saturday (7.30pm).
Both teams will be looking for the two competition points as well as the incentive of holding the inaugural Alex McKinnon Cup.
Having won two games in a row, the Dragons will be confident they can get the job done against a Newcastle outfit that leads the NRL in completed sets.
The Dragons put on their best defensive performance of the season last week against the Sea Eagles, holding they team to just four points.
The Dragons were dominant in attack, running for just over 600 more metres than their opponents, while completing 75% of their sets and conceding a season low four penalties.
The Knights have been dominant so far in 2015, winning their first four matches, making it their best start to a competition since 2002.
Much like the Dragons, Newcastle have been dominant in defence, but it is their attack that has been sitting atop the table, leading the competition in table busts (143), second in line breaks (21) and fourth fewest errors (41).
The Dragons head coach Paul McGregor has decided to stick with the team that defeated Manly 12-4 last Saturday night, with Rory O’Brien being named as 18th man.
The Knights welcome back James McManus and Tariq Sims into the starting line-up, meaning Sione Mata’utai drops back to 18th man, while Chris Houston shifts back to the bench.
The Dragons have had a lot of success against the Knights since entering the competition in 1999, winning 19 of 29 meetings, including four of their last five.
Hunter Stadium has felt like a home away from home in recent times, with the Dragons coming away with the two competition points on 13 of 16 attempts.
Gates Open: 5.00pm
NYC : 5.15pm