NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 07: Kalyn Ponga of the Newcastle Knights helps team mate Mitchell Pearce up during the round four NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the St George Illawarra Dragons at McDonald Jones Stadium on April 07, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

Things are getting ugly up in the Hunter region.

The way the club has handled coach Nathan Brown’s departure plus the lack of support from the players has left many media pundits scratching their heads.

And this is just off the field drama…

On-field, the Knights have capitulated in the last two months after being situated in the top four during the midway point of the season.

Last week they were belted 46-4 by the Wests Tigers, which saw coach Nathan Brown offer to leave two weeks early. His offer was refused.

The panel on NRL 360 on Fox League of Phil Rothfield and Paul Kent came out swinging on Monday night with their words on how badly the Knights have handled the past two months on and off the field.

“I just want to see some honesty out of Newcastle,” Kent said.

“And this mob, for them to sit there and sell this crap argument last week about: ‘well it’s a professional game, a coach moving on, that’s part of the business we’re in.’

“It was embarrassing.”

The Daily Telegraph’s Phil Rothfield sided with Kent though took a step further saying they don’t have the right captain in Mitchell Pearce.

“What they lack, outside of courage, is leadership,” said Rothfield.

“I’m talking Mitchell Pearce leadership; I don’t think he’s a first-grade NRL captain.”

Kent also revealed some interesting news on Tuesday, suggesting club boss Phil Gardner has told Kalyn Ponga’s father the club won’t offer him a new deal until Ponga has a new agent.

“At the same time [Adam] O’Brien was being wooed, Ponga, the Knights superstar, began seeking an upgrade and extension to his contract,” Kent wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

“But Gardner told Ponga’s father Andre Ponga they won’t discuss an upgrade while Wayde Rushton remains his manager. Andre Ponga told Rushton this earlier this month, a day before Rushton left for America.

“The reason why Gardner delivered the ultimatum is mysterious. There seems no reasonable explanation.

“Rushton delivered what was then considered a massive deal for the unproven Ponga and has not done him a disservice since.

“It has put Ponga in a position where the sooner he discards Rushton the quicker he gets his upgrade and extension. But they have a contract until October next year.

“At the same time Gardner has told Andre Ponga he can introduce him to another player manager, Isaac Moses.

“Moses happens to also be the manager for O’Brien, soon to be appointed the head coach.”

The Knights will be looking to win their last home game of the season when the last-placed Titans come to town this Saturday at 3pm.


  1. I hope for Newcastle’s & their supporters sake , they can come out & deliver next year.
    No better supporters for any club than Newcastle.
    They had a rough run for several years & should be better , with the big money spend over the last couple of years.
    Most of all, I hope for them that they can keep all their best juniors. At least the ones they want. Not have the other clubs cherry picking the young players out of their system for their own clubs.

  2. Bit harsh playswithhisballs, Ponga showing a lot more promise than dancing teddy at same age.
    1. Sheck
    2. Turbo
    3. Ponga
    4. Dancing Teddy.

  3. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Teddy is the best player in the world, showing once again how little you know.

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