NRLW semi requires energy boost: Dragons

·2-min read

The Dragons must lift their energy levels if they are to bounce back from last week's hefty NRLW loss to Newcastle in their semi-final rematch, St George Illawarra utility Quincy Dodd says.

Only a late Newcastle try separated the sides at halftime of that defeat but the Knights ballooned their lead out in the second period and held the Dragons scoreless.

After the 30-8 loss, coach Jamie Soward said there was no need for the third-placed Dragons to rethink their entire game plan ahead of Sunday's sudden-death bout against the same opponents, who finished the regular season in second place.

But Dodd said the Dragons had zeroed-in on one particular area of their performance at training this week.

"Our energy has been high. That's something we feel like we really need to bring out this time around," she told AAP.

"When we're down, or if they score, we need to know that we can bring ourselves back up.

"It's always a mental game. If the team's got heaps of energy and they're on a high, I feel like they're going to go well."

Of the Dragons side named to play this weekend, 13 played in last year's grand final loss, while the Knights are playing finals for the first time in only their second NRLW campaign.

Dodd insisted the Dragons could not afford to become complacent, despite their big-game experience.

"Our team has been in a semi-final before, so we kind of do have that experience, but some of the girls in their team do, too," she said.

"There are a few of the Knights players, like Millie Boyle and Tamika Upton, who have grand final experience (with Brisbane).

"So it's kind of an equal playing field."

The Knights welcome star fullback Upton back from a calf strain in a major boost to their chances, while the Dragons are joined by five players rested for last week's game, including skipper Kezie Apps.

"My body's feeling better than ever," Upton said after her two weeks off.

"Last week has been and gone. This is a new week and we're all ready for the challenge."