Following an unusually quiet first three rounds for Knights superstar Kalyn Ponga at five-eighth, Ponga is set for a shift back to the number 1 jersey after spending the last half of Newcastle’s loss against Canberra in the custodian role.
According to Fox Sports, Ponga had a meeting with coach Nathan Brown on Monday morning at Newcastle’s Mayfield headquarters that confirmed the Maroons representative would shift back to the position that earned him second place in the 2018 Dally M.
After winning only one of their first three games, Brown shifted Ponga to the back mid-way through their round 3 loss to Canberra where he looked noticeably more dangerous.
"Yeah, I’ll probably be at the back for this weekend’s game. Browny’s decided to put me back there and I supported his decision," Ponga told Fox Sports.
"Obviously I wanted to play well in that position. I still want to learn in that position. I think we’ll see how this weekend goes," Ponga said.
"If it works well, then we’ll continue with it."
Ponga said he enjoyed the increased attacking and defensive involvement that came with being in the front-line.
"Being in the first line of defence, you’re always on whereas at fullback you’re back there resting every now and then. I like that part of the game."
After seeing one of the potentially most dangerous halves combinations in the NRL being split up after only three rounds, former halves partner and captain Mitchell Pearce expressed his optimism in regard to Ponga moving back into the number 1 jersey.
"Browny’s obviously picked Kalyn at fullback. That’s one little piece of the big puzzle in our team," Pearce said.
"Browny obviously sees that as an opportunity to free Kalyn up with his game.
"I thought he was doing some really nice things for a young five-eighth who’s played only 20 first grade games.
"Hopefully that adds a little bit to our attacking stuff, (but) there’s other areas of our game that we need to keep improving on for 80 minutes."