Newcastle Knights run down by St George Illawarra Dragons 24-14 in round 25 of the 2018 NRL season

St George Illawarra continued their remarkable dominance over the Knights to spoil the home side’s Old Boys Day celebrations at McDonald Jones Stadium.

The Dragons scored 22 points in the second half to win 24-14 with winger Jordan Pereira crossing with less than two minutes left to seal the victory.

They have now won 16 of 20 clashes between the two sides with the loss leaving Newcastle in 11th spot with nine wins for the season but they could drop to 12th if the Bulldogs upset the Sharks on Sunday.

The Knights led 10-2 at halftime and had plenty of attacking chances in the game but could manage only three tries.

Skipper Mitchell Pearce was outstanding in the defeat and could not have tried harder but without Kalyn Ponga and Connor Watson, the Knights attack fell short of the mark on plenty of occasions.

The Dragons, whose form was much-maligned coming into the game, were outstanding defensively and did just enough with the footy to get home.

The Knights dodged an early bullet with a fumble from Mitch Barnett after a horrible Ben Hunt kick saw lock Jack De Belin cross for the Dragons.

It came after a Zac Lomax penalty gave the visitors a 2-0 lead but the try was disallowed with Dragons players caught in front of the kicker.

It told the story of the first half for the Dragons.

They weren’t without their opportunities  Lomax had a 40 minutes he’d like to forget, spilling the ball over the line twice and missing a penalty goal from in front, although to be fair, there were question marks over the video raferee’s decision to disallow his first touch down.

The Knights posted the first of their two tries in the opening half through winger Ken Sio after 12 minutes.

A Daniel Saifiti off-load gave Mitchell Pearce the space to spread the ball to Cory Denniss and the young centre found Sio, who squeezed over in the left corner to give the home side a 4-2 advantage.

Lomax missed a routine penalty mid-way through the half that would have leveled it up with the Knights striking right on halftime for their 10-2 advantage.

The Knights, with a glut of possession, had thrown plenty at the Dragons defence but it had held firm until a Pearce cross-kick finally did the trick.

Good pressure from Aidan Guerra forced a mistake in-goal from Dragons centre Tim Lafai and Shaun Kenny-Dowall got enough down-ward pressure to convince the video referee he had scored.

Nick Meaney added the extras for the eight point advantage.

It took the Dragons just seven minutes of the second half to post their first try to narrow the gap to 10-8.

It came after a Danny Levi fifth tackle penalty and a further penalty conceded by Jack Cogger close to the Knights line.

The pressure told with interchange prop Jeremy Latimore churning his way through some average defence to cross under the sticks.

Latimore was involved again in his side’s second try with an off-load to Cameron McInnes before the hooker put winger Nene MacDonald away.on a 50 metre charge to the line.

At 14-10, the Knights were still well in the contest and had several shots at the Dragons defence.

But a misdirected pass was put down 15 metres out from the Dragons line and the visitors went the distance with Matt Dufty scoring for an 18-10 lead with 12 to go.

A brilliant Pearce cross-kick for Sio to score his second in the corner with eight minutes to go set up a dramatic finish.


Earlier match BLOG