"W e need to get a bit of self-belief back in the team." : Acting Knights captainb Jarrod Mullen.

"We need to get a bit of self-belief back in the team": Acting Knights captain Jarrod Mullen. Photo: Getty Images

Haunted by the home-ground hoodoo that struck again to leave them clinging to a top-eight position, the Newcastle Knights must now regroup and deal with even more daunting demons that await them in Melbourne.

Newcastle's 14-8 loss to St George Illawarra at Hunter Stadium on Saturday night extended two remarkable streaks. It was their ninth consecutive defeat by the Dragons at Turton Road and 13th from 15 games since the joint-venture club was formed in 1999.

It also maintained Dragons coach Steve Price's perfect record of four wins from four clashes with his former boss Wayne Bennett.

For those who believe in omens, the portents appear ominous as Newcastle prepare for their clash with the premiers at AAMI Park on Sunday night.

The Dragons' stranglehold at Hunter Stadium dates back to 2004, which coincidently was the last year Newcastle won in the Victorian capital.

Since then the Storm have racked up nine consecutive wins on home turf against Newcastle, scoring a combined tally of 308 points and conceding 80.

The average score in those games has been Melbourne 34.2, Newcastle 8.8.

''We're three [losses] in a row now, going down to Melbourne and we need a win before the bye,'' acting Knights skipper Jarrod Mullen said after Saturday's defeat.

''The boys are still confident but we need to get a bit of self-belief back in the team. It's going to be tough down there … we have struggled down there in the past. But I know a lot of games I've been in [went] right down to the death. So I'm sure the boys are going to go down there with great attitude before the bye and put in a big effort.''

The Knights - who had Kurt Gidley (foot), Akuila Uate (ribs), Danny Buderus (back), Timana Tahu (calf), Matt Hilder (knee) and Josh Mantellato (ribs) out - have lost five of their past six games. Last year Newcastle lost five successive games at a similar stage and failed to recover, eventually finishing 12th.