Saturday’s first NRL Round 16 match is between Newcastle Knights and St George Illawarra Dragons. The opening bounce is set to commence at 13:05 local time with the game to be played at Hunter Stadium. The away team St. George Illawarra Dragons are the favourites for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between Newcastle Knights and St George Illawarra Dragons.
When: 13:05 | Saturday 25/06/2016
Where: Hunter Stadium
Tip: St. George Illawarra Dragons at $1.28
Value Tip: First Try Scorer: Tim Lafai at $14.00
Knights: 1 Dane Gagai 2 Nathan Ross 3 Sione Mata’utia 4 Peter Mata’utia 5 Brendan Elliot 6 Jack Cogger 7 Trent Hodkinson 8 Sam Mataora 9 Danny Levi 10 Korbin Sims 11 Jacob Saifiti 12 Mitchell Barnett 13 Jeremy Smith. Interchange: 14 Tyler Randell 15 Robert Rochow 16 Daniel Saifiti 17 Mickey Paea 18 Joshua King 19 Chanel Mata’utia 24 Pauli Pauli.
Dragons: 1 Jason Nightingale 2 Kalifa Faifai Loa 3 Euan Aitken 4 Timoteo Lafai 5 Kurt Mann 6 Gareth Widdop 7 Benji Marshall 8 Leeson Ah Mau 9 Mitch Rein 10 Russell Packer 11 Jacob Host 12 Joel Thompson 13 Michael Cooper. Interchange: 14 Jack De Belin 15 Will Matthews 16 Dunamis Lui 17 Jacob Marketo.
St George Illawarra scored an uninspiring 20-10 NRL win over a depleted Melbourne on Saturday night in Wollongong to move into the top eight.
In one of the most-dour games of the season, the Dragons finally put a largely second-string Storm to the sword late in the second half when Kurt Mann crossed in front of 7568 fans at WIN Stadium.
Missing Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk on State of Origin duty and hit by the 11th-hour withdrawals of Cameron Munster, playmaker Blake Green and forward Tim Glasby, the Storm looked shades of their usually well-drilled selves.
Despite the Dragons being handed a mountain of opportunities – at one point getting seven straight penalties – they repeatedly failed to capitalise on their chances.
The Storm were always expected to struggle with a lion’s share of their salary cap not on the park and being steered around by teenage debutant Brodie Croft and second-rower-cum-half Tohu Harris.
While the Dragons were missing Tyson Frizell (Origin) and Josh Dugan (elbow), they looked limp in attack in a performance that would not have impressed coach Paul McGregor.
They completed just 29 of 42 sets, made 11 errors and gave away 11 penalties.
The Dragons went up 10-2 in the 47th minute via a Gareth Widdop penalty goal and were repeatedly turned away by a stout Melbourne defensive line.
The visitors gave themselves a sniff in the 58th minute when Croft bombed for a flying Suliasi Vunivalu, however the Dragons did enough to seal the result.
Mann crossed in the right corner in the 66th minute while a Mitch Rein try five minutes later sealed the result as the Dragons temporarily moved into the eight and could finish the round as high as eighth, depending on other results.
The game also marked Tariq Sims’ first in a Dragons jumper following a mid-season move from Newcastle.
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change