After winning their opening three games on the bounce, the Newcastle Knights fell against St George Illawarra in Maitland last weekend.

BREAKAWAY: The Knights clocked up 22 points in Maitland, but it wasn’t enough to keep out the attacking Dragons. Picture: NSWRL

The Dragons delivered the home team their first defeat of the season in the Tarsha Gale Cup in front of a ballooning crowd at the Maitland Showground as locals poured in in preparation for the first grade NRL trial match against the Cronulla Sharks.

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The Newcastle under 18 women’s rep squad put on a show for the early arrivers, delivering 22 points across the 60 minute clash, but the Dragons proved too strong in attack for the Knights.

St George found 36 points in Maitland, including doubles for rampaging prop Mareva Swann and centre Ema Rainima. Olivia Kernick, Ella Beuteux, Jorja Holden and Lily Hanning were the tryscorers for Newcastle. Cody Campbell kicked a goal for the Knights, while Caitlan Johnston added two.

The defeat leaves the Knights in third place four rounds in, behind the undefeated Steelers and West Tigers, both of whom have locked all four victories so far this season.

Newcastle will look to make amends and retain their playoff position when they come up against the Tigers next Saturday, March 9. The clash will kickoff at Campbelltown Stadium at midday.