The St George Illawarra Dragons defeated the Newcastle Knights 26-16 at UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Saturday.

The Red-and-Whites outscored the opposition six tries to three, with winger Paora Kemp scoring a hat trick for his team.

Head Coach Mat Head had made only the one change to the line-up announced midweek with prop Stuart Mason replacing Jacob Esau on the interchange.

The Young Dragons struck early when play commenced with fullback Matt Dufty drawing two defenders before giving a pass to unmarked centre Patrick Herbert for a 4-0 lead after six minutes.

Dragons five-eighth Jai Field converted to make it 6-0.

The Knights quickly hit back though, with second-rower Sam Stone crashing over from close to the line to claw the deficit back to within two point after 15 minutes.

The visitors took their first lead of the game moments later when lock Ryan Glanville ripped the ball out of Dufty’s arms in the in-goal to score under the posts.

The Knights extended their lead through the boot of five-eighth Nick Newman for a 10-6 after 20 minutes.

Herbert continued his sensational first half, this time setting up Field with a no look pass over the top for his 13th try of the season.

Field converted his own try to lock the scores back up at 10-all with 10 minutes remaining.

The home side retook their lead five minutes before the break with hooker Cooper Purcell scoring his first try at Under 20s grade level.

Three unconverted tries in the space of 12 minutes to Dragons winger Paora Kemp saw the home side jump out to a 26-10 lead with 20 minutes remaining.

Unfortunately, the Knights jagged a late try via prop Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, who crashed over the line 20 metres in from touch.

Newman converted the try to pull the deficit back to 10 points on the full time siren.

St George Illawarra Dragons 26. Tries: Kemp (3), Field, Herbert. Goals: Field (1/4).

Newcastle Knights 16. Tries: Stone, Glanville, Taunoa-Brown. Goals: Newman (2/3).