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St George Illawarra Dragons v Newcastle Knights
Sunday, June 25, 2pm (AEST), UOW Jubilee Oval, Sydney

The Dragons will be hoping to break their slump when they host the Knights at Jubilee Oval on Sunday afternoon. They’ve only won two of their last seven matches and will be hoping to rediscover some form against the struggling Knights. Dragons pair Josh Dugan and Tyson Frizell will represent NSW on Wednesday night.

The Dragons have won four straight and eight of their last nine against the Knights. The Red V have won the last four at Kogarah. The Dragons won last year’s match at Kogarah 28-26, with both Jason Nightingale and Joel Thompson scoring doubles.

St George Illawarra enter this off a very poor 24-10 loss to Parramatta and have now won just two of their last seven matches – both against teams outside the Top 8. The Dragons are down to sixth on the ladder with an 8-6 record. The Saints have been kept to 16 or fewer in four of their last five. Newcastle, courtesy of their second bye, have moved up to 15th on the ladder but still have the worst record in the NRL with two wins and 11 losses. The Knights have dropped their last three and have conceded 30-plus in three of their last five. Newcastle have lost three of their last four road games.

Key Matchup
Gareth Widdop v Brock Lamb. Widdop was in sensational form to start the season until injury sidelined the Dragons five-eighth. He made a good return against the Tigers in Round 13, before uninspiring matches against the Bulldogs and Eels in consecutive weeks. The Wolf is expecting a nice points haul for Widdop here. Lamb has been given ownership of the Knights attack, with the demotion of Trent Hodkinson. He’s still learning his craft and it’s hard to have an impact when his side is outclassed on most weeks. He’ll be better in the long run, but could struggle against a desperate Dragons side.

Stats That Matter

– St George Illawarra are 8-6 ATS with an 8-6 under record while Newcastle are 6-7 ATS with a 7-6 under record.
– The Dragons have won four straight and eight of their last nine against the Knights.
– The last three matches have all topped 48 points.
– The Saints have won the last four at Kogarah.
– The Saints have covered just 2 of their last 5 as a double digit favourite.
– Double digit favourites who scored 10 or fewer points last start are 20-32 ATS since 2008.
– The Dragons are 15-7 under after scoring 10 or fewer.
– The Saints have covered 11 of their last 15 at Kogarah and 6 of their last 8 as a favourite.
– The Dragons have covered just 5 of their last 14 day games.
– Newcastle have covered 6 of their last 8 day games and have covered 5 of their last 6 day games getting double digits.

Final Thoughts
Many critics were expecting the Dragons to come back to the pack after a strong start to the year and that’s exactly what has happened. They need to put the Knights to the sword to get their season back on track and give them a much-needed confidence boost. The Wolf thinks they’ll do that.

How It’s Shaping Up
St George Illawarra by 16

Best Bet
St George Illawarra 13+ ($1.85)

Other Recommended Bets
Under 43.5 ($1.88)

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