NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Round 26, 2014 NRL Premiership
Date: Sunday September 7
Kick off: 2pm
Venue: Hunter Stadium
Referees: Adam Devcich, Dave Munro
Last time they met:
This is the first time the two sides meet in 2014, but the Dragons won the last encounter, 14-8 at Hunter Stadium in Round 13 of season 2013.
These two sides have met on 28 occasions, with the Dragons holding a strong record over the Knights. The Dragons have won 19 of those games to the Knights’ 9.
1. Kurt Gidley (c), Sione Mata’utia, 3. Dane Gagai, 4. Joseph Leilua, 5. Chanel 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.
1. Gerard Beale, 2. Brett Morris, 3. Josh Dugan, 4. Peter Mata’utia, 5. Jason Nightingale, 6. Gareth Widdop, 7. Benji Marshall, 8. Michael 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.
With both sides unable to make the eight, Sunday’s match at Hunter Stadium will be about pride and finishing the season on a positive note.
“It is no time to relax with one game remaining because everyone knows they still have a job to do for themselves, the Club and the fans,” Anthony Quinn said.
Travis Waddell returns this weekend after he was sidelined last weekend due to sickness in an otherwise unchanged line-up.
The Knights go into Sunday's match undefeated in their last four matches played at Hunter Stadium. The men in red and blue have also won seven of their last ten games while the Dragons have won six of their last ten.
Then there is Old Boys Day.
“The Knights have an impressive winning record on Old Boys Day and we certainly don’t lose too many,” Quinn added.
“I remember when I was at the Storm and we came to Newcastle for an Old Boys Day in 2008. No one knew about how big the day was and how much it means to the current players to win for the past players.”
“We have players moving on like most clubs and also our coach and I know the players won’t want to let any of them down this Sunday,” Quinn said.
Playing the Dragons will be a battle of the Mata’utia’s; Chanel and Sione are named on the wings with Peter playing in the centres for the Dragons. It was just in Round 21, that Peter played the second youngest of the family Pat, in a NSW Cup game. For the record, it is mah-tou-tee-ah.
Where it will be won:
Old Boys Day passion.
It’s all about attitude this weekend and respecting the past players, the history and heritage of the Club on Old Boys Day.
“The players need to be ‘the player that very player wants to play with’ and make sure they fulfil their commitment to their teammates by playing the best they can,” Quinn said.
“Sunday is a big occasion, it’s the last game of the year and every time we go out on that field we want to represent the Old Boys," Tyrone Roberts said.