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Sunday 20 September 08:05

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Newcastle Knights vs St. George Illawarra Dragons Live Stream

NRL ROUND 19

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS VS ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 20, 4.05 PM, MCDONALD JONES STADIUM, NEWCASTLE

Newcastle have confirmed their place in the Finals, but now have a chance to leapfrog the Bunnies into 6th, which would be huge as it would mean they get the home Elimination Final against Souths, instead of having to travel to Sydney; plenty of impetus to defeat their old foes the Dragons.  The Dragons who are clearly building for 2021 having signed Hook Griffin and allowed Young to walk, are in for a tough day, if their efforts against Canberra last week are any indication.  Newcastle were helpless to avoid a hiding from the in-form Chooks last Saturday night, and suffered a 42-12 belting, showing the seemingly huge gape between the top few teams and even some of the top 8 finalists.  Rain is predicted to sweep into Newcastle too on Sunday, leaving a sodden affair, with blowy conditions that could make a tricky fixture for the back 3’s on each side and the kickers.

Edrick Lee will miss this match due to an off-field issue, leaving Shibasaki the next choice to take on the Wing role, while Ponga returns from his rest.  Fullback Hoy last week, Half this week is the big story in this team announcement with they rookie replacing Lino, while Randall comes in at Hooker ahead of Mann who is suspended, while Crossland is on the bench.  Hunt returns too, as well as Barnett, leaving Jacob Saifiti on the bench and King out of the 17.  Brittain was concussed again last week for the Dragons, giving him a rest, while Tariq Sims returns in his place, while Fuimaono is dropped from the side, with exciting prospect Max Feagai set to debut.

Newcastle are building a fortress at home, like they did in the halcyon days in the mid to late 90s, having won four on the trot, but will need to be aware of St George Illawarra, as the Dragons have won 8 from 10 against them.  St George Illawarra got the early 2019 win by 1-point, but later in the year Newcastle slaughtered them 45-12, thanks to a brilliant day from Ponga, their Queensland star.  The Knights are $1.33 favourites for this one, with the handicapped predictor stating the margin of 8.5 points to be likely, with the Dragons posted at $3.35 chances of coming away with an upset victory.

PREDICTION: Newcastle by about 10.

BETTING TIP: $3 is nice odds for the Knights to win by 1-12, but if u think 13+ is more likely the odds of $2.35 is not bad either.