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After looking good over the first two weeks, the Knights took a step back in losing to Wests Tigers at home in round three.

They stay at home for round four and welcome a Dragons side buoyed by back-to-back wins.

The absence of Jack Bird through suspension will hurt St George Illawarra, but if their forwards can match it with an imposing Knights pack the match is there to be won.

The winner could find themselves in the top four at the end of the round.

Knights v Dragons

The rundown

Team news

Knights: Coach Adam O'Brien has again swapped lock Connor Watson and interchange forward Suaso Sue on match day but otherwise the final Newcastle squad is 1-17.

The final omissions from the Knights' match-day squad are Brodie Jones and Dominic Young.

Bradman Best (elbow), a late withdrawal last week, misses the side and is replaced in the centres by Gehamat Shibasaki, who shifts in from the wing. Starford To'a is the new winger.

Five-eighth Blake Green, making his way back from a knee injury, is on the team list for the first time this season. Green has been named on the interchange bench in jersey No.17. 

Forward Jacob Saifiti (leg) has been named on the interchange after having failed to finish the loss to Wests Tigers.

Simi Sasagi and Pasami Saulo dropped off the reserves list 24 hours before kick-off.

Dragons: No late changes an hour before kickoff with the squad confirmed to run out 1-17. Kaide Ellis and Jordan Pereira are the match-day cuts.

Adam Clune is the replacement for skipper Ben Hunt who suffered an impact fracture to his fibula in the win over the Sea Eagles and is scheduled to return in round eight.

Brayden Wiliame has been promoted from the bench to replace suspended centre Jack Bird after scoring a late try off the bench in the romp over Manly.

Max Feagai and Eddie Blacker were the players omitted from the extended squad on Saturday.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Knights is number 1 Tex Hoy
    Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Matthew Dufty
  • Winger for Knights is number 2 Starford To'a
    Winger for Dragons is number 2 Cody Ramsey
  • Centre for Knights is number 3 Enari Tuala
    Centre for Dragons is number 3 Brayden Wiliame
  • Centre for Knights is number 4 Gehamat Shibasaki
    Centre for Dragons is number 4 Zac Lomax
  • Winger for Knights is number 5 Hymel Hunt
    Winger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele Ravalawa
  • Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Kurt Mann
    Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Corey Norman
  • Halfback for Knights is number 7 Mitchell Pearce
    Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Adam Clune

Forwards

  • Prop for Knights is number 8 David Klemmer
    Prop for Dragons is number 8 Blake Lawrie
  • Hooker for Knights is number 9 Jayden Brailey
    Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Andrew McCullough
  • Prop for Knights is number 10 Daniel Saifiti
    Prop for Dragons is number 10 Paul Vaughan
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Tyson Frizell
    2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Josh Kerr
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Mitchell Barnett
    2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Tariq Sims
  • Lock for Knights is number 14 Sauaso Sue
    Lock for Dragons is number 13 Tyrell Fuimaono

Interchange

  • Interchange for Knights is number 13 Connor Watson
    Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Poasa Faamausili
  • Interchange for Knights is number 15 Jacob Saifiti
    Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Trent Merrin
  • Interchange for Knights is number 16 Josh King
    Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Daniel Alvaro
  • Interchange for Knights is number 17 Blake Green
    Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Jackson Ford

Match Officials

  • Referee: Peter Gough
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Touch Judge: Liam Nicholls
  • Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy

Last updated:

Key match-up 

Jayden Brailey v Andrew McCullough: The Dragons have looked a much more composed team as McCullough has started to impose his style of play on the team.

As for Brailey, after missing most of 2020 through injury he has been one of the competition's best dummy-halves so far and his performances look set to improve as the season continues.

Stat attack 

They didn't get the win, but the Knights' starting forwards finished with impressive run stats on Sunday. David Klemmer led the way with 193m. He was well supported by Daniel Saifiti (167m), Connor Watson (151m), Mitchell Barnett (142m) and Tyson Frizell (114m).

 

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