The St George Illawarra Dragons have taken out the scoreboard honours 18-10 over the Newcastle Knights within the pre-season NRL conflict at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, the ultimate ledger ending 4 tries to 2.
The primary half, and for that matter the second, was an entertaining affair, as each side despatched out their large weapons to face one another.
For the Dragons, with the wind at their again, within the first half they’d implausible ball carry from their forwards, with a charged up Korbin Sims desirous to impress, but additionally a standout efficiency for the day from Paul Vaughan, who was the perfect ahead on the bottom.
The Dragons will take a number of consolation within the data that Korbin Sims appears to be like prepared to steer the road for his new facet, whereas Paul Vaughan will proceed to ship the standard play that has delivered him consultant jerseys.
Paul McGregor could have a little bit of fascinated about how blissful he’s at this early stage with the 1-6-7 mixture of Gareth Widdop, Corey Norman, and Ben Hunt.
Gareth Widdop confirmed his deficiencies at fullback at occasions, and appeared a lot stronger in assault.
Widdop’s robust attacking play appeared to carry again Corey Norman, who nonetheless wants time to seek out his means together with his new teammates.
Hunt delivered what Hunt delivers, with strong kicks, strong passing, and doing what he must in defence.
As for Newcastle, the mixture of Kalyn Ponga and Mitchell Pearce appeared comfy from the get-go, and when Lachlan Fitzgibbon scored off a Ponga inside move, delivered to him from Pearce, for Knights’ followers, that may have bene like placing on some comfy and costly sneakers.
Nathan Brown might be extra proud of Connor Watson, who at occasions struggled beneath the excessive ball in windy circumstances, however in any other case appeared comfy at fullback.
Given the transfer of Ponga to five-eighth pressured Watson to fullback had a little bit of competition about it, the primary up outing will relieve the Knights teaching employees considerably.
Within the forwards, David Klemmer merely stayed wholesome, it was maybe Daniel Saifiti who led from the entrance for the away facet.
Tim Glasby additionally appeared comfy when he got here on.
The second half was an entire change of rosters, and for the house facet Mikaele Ravalawa stood out with a double, whereas the introduction of Tex Hoy for the Knights at fullback was a nice providing from the younger participant.
What’s going to concern Nathan Brown, already, is the Knights’ continued lack of polish and self-discipline. Whereas failing to complete set items gained’t hassle the coach, shedding the ball, not enjoying the ball, and additional examples of an absence of software of their tryline defence ought to already be ringing alarm bells.
Nathan Brown goes into this season with a robust preseason and a number of discuss making finals, so the gamers’ angle as a lot as their ability might be what he needs to see enhance.
Not getting your foot to the ball when enjoying it, that could be a mentality that for too lengthy has price the Knights, and will effectively price them because the season performs itself out.
As for the Dragons, had they handed with extra accuracy, they doubtless would have gained the competition however a lot bigger a spot, and McGregor will hope couple extra preseason video games will polish these performs properly.
What McGregor will extra so be hoping for, although, is to not polish issues too shiny too early, and ensure this staff is firing late within the season.
McGregor would have seen precisely what he anticipated from his facet at this time, and that gained’t be his major concern.
As said earlier than the sport, what the staff does in Rounds 21 to 26 will weigh extra closely on the coach than what they do in Rounds 1 to six, if at this time’s effort is something to go by.
In any other case, the added bonus for each coaches would be the obvious lack of accidents that got here out of the sport.
An total entertaining sport, and one which each coaches ought to come away from with sufficient to please them, and sufficient to maintain them busy all through the week, to present each side a strong beginning platform for season 2019.
Dragons – 18
Knights – 10