NRL match preview: Round 16
The nib Newcastle Knights return in Round 16, following a final bye of the season in Round 15.
The team remains on the road, this time down to Kogarah to take on the St George Illawarra Dragons for the Alex McKinnon Cup.
The team will also run out for the first of two games in hi-vis, as part of the Club’s ongoing partnership with NSW Mining.
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Date: Sunday June 25
Gates open: 9.30am
Venue: Jubilee Oval
1. Dane Gagai, 2. Ken Sio, 3. Brendan Elliot, 4. Peter Mata’utia, 5. Nathan Ross, 6. Brock Lamb, 7. Jaelen Feeney, 8. Daniel Saifiti, 9. Danny Levi, 10. Josh Starling, 11. Sione Mata’utia, 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 13. Mitch Barnett. Interchange: 14. Luke Yates, 15. Josh King, 16. Tyler Randell, 17. Jacob Saifiti, 18. Sam Mataora, 19. Jacob Gagan, 20. Trent Hodkinson, 21. Tom Hughes.
St George Illawarra
1. Josh Dugan, 2. Nene Macdonald, 3. Kurt Mann, 4. Tim Lafai, 5. Jason Nightingale, 6. Gareth Widdop, 7. Josh McCrone, 8. Russell Packer, 9. Cameron McInnes, 10. Paul Vaughan, 11. Tariq Sims, 12. Joel Thompson, 13. Jack de Belin. Interchange: 14. Jacob Host, 15. Leeson Ah Mau, 16. Hame Sele, 17. Taane Milne, 18. Will Matthews, 19. Tyson Frizell, 20. Blake Lawrie, 21 Euan Aitken, 22. Matt Dufty.
Inconsistency an issue
While the Red V started 2017 on fire, they have won just two of their last seven games.
Part of that comes down to being without Origin regulars Josh Dugan and Tyson Frizell, while influential captain Gareth Widdop has also missed several games through injury.
“I don’t think their defence has fallen away, I just think they’ve made a few more errors than what they have in the first ten weeks of the competition when they were one of the form sides,” coach Nathan Brown said of the Dragons earlier in the week.
“They will be looking to rebound from a couple of losses and a bit of negative publicity and get themselves back on the winning way.”
Meanwhile, despite several blips on the radar, the Knights have been steadily working on addressing their own inconsistencies.
Before the bye the red and blues were unlucky not to come away with a win against the high-flying Manly Sea Eagles.