The Dragons defeated the Knights 12-4 at WIN Jubilee Oval in Round 7 last season – just six weeks after securing a nail-biting 15-14 victory over Newcastle at Hunter Stadium.
On a night when Ben Hornby ran onto the field for the 256th time to equal the all-time record for match appearances by a Dragons player, Newcastle delivered the first blow when Akuila Uate crossed in the right corner with 12 minutes on the clock.
But the Dragons struck back quickly, Beau Scott plunging over off a Hornby short ball in the 19th minute before Mitch Rein, Jamie Soward and Brett Morris stole a leaf from the Storm’s playbook, the Dragons’ five-eighth offering a hot-potato inside ball to Morris who broke through and gifted winger Jason Nightingale passage to the try line for a 12-4 scoreline in the 22nd minute.
The second half was a low-key affair, the only scoring opportunity coming in the 56th minute when Zeb Taia sliced through to seemingly get the Knights back on track – only for the video referee to flash the red light after ruling a Kade Snowden obstruction.
Overall the Dragons dominated field position 1484 metres to 1198 metres, making three line-breaks to one. The telling difference between the sides came in the missed-tackles count – St George Illawarra missed just 20 tackles while the Knights missed a whopping 41.
The Dragons were best served by fullback Morris who contributed 204 metres plus seven tackle-breaks, and Ben Creagh who clawed out 16 hit-ups for 132 metres, plus seven tackle busts.
Akuila Uate (165 metres and seven tackle busts) and Darius Boyd (a try assist and line-break assist) tried hard for the beaten brigade.