Pearce happy at Newcastle


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    Mitchell Pearce knows all about being thrown into the deep end and developing a stiff upper lip as a result.

    Pearce on Monday began the second part of his storied NRL career as he began pre-season training with Newcastle.

    The NSW State of Origin playmaker revealed that following his first meeting with coach Nathan Brown, he felt something special brewing in the Hunter and called his dad – Balmain great Wayne – straight away to tell him he wanted to be a part of it.

    After copping three straight wooden spoons, some raised their eyebrows at Pearce’s decision to join the competition’s battlers, following his departure from the Sydney Roosters.

    But he immediately felt an affinity with the place.

    Such is the state of their roster, a desperate Brown was forced to blood a crop of young talent well before they’re ready over the last several seasons.

    And it’s a story Pearce knows all too well.

    He was thrown into first grade as a 17-year-old before making his State of Origin debut a year later.

    But he is now at a stage in his career where he wants to be a leader to those carrying a heavy burden at a tender age.

    “They’ve come in and had to learn the hard way,” Pearce said.

    “You naturally build a resilience by doing that.

    “The first thing I noticed when coming into training today was there is a mad buzz around.

    “It’s a similar feeling to what I had at the Roosters. There’s a family feeling here. And it seems like there’s no fear.

    “It’s a recipe for success.”

    So who better than Pearce to help lead around the likes of Daniel and Jacob Saifiti, 21, Brock Lamb, 20, and Sione Mata’utia, 21.

    Pearce also laughed off Paul Gallen’s fears that his move up the M1 will damage his chances of retaining his NSW jumper.

    After Pearce turned down Cronulla and Manly in favour of signing with the three-time current wooden spooners, Sharks skipper Gallen questioned whether his former Origin teammate’s game — and by extension his NSW chances – would take a hit.

    Asked if his Origin prospects had entered his thinking, Pearce said he was primarily motivated by his own well-being but could get back to the pinnacle of rugby league if he got the best out of himself.

    “The main focus of my decision was firstly happiness, a new opportunity and a new challenge,” Pearce said.

    “I wanted to come here and be a part of this club and what they’re building.

    “All that other stuff takes care of itself, if you’re being the best person you can be every day.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (24)

    • December 5th 2017 @ 6:22am
      PGNEWC said | December 5th 2017 @ 6:22am | ! Report

      Fingers crossed it works out for us — but have seen it all before with Trent Hodgkinson and way way back Steve Lennane.–halves bought in from outside the Hunter haven’t exactly been a roaring success

      • December 5th 2017 @ 9:46am
        Albo said | December 5th 2017 @ 9:46am | ! Report

        You know Pearce will give 100 % commitment to the Knights on the park. Its in the Pearce genes ! You can’t compare him to Hodgkinson & Linnane as Pearce is at his peak with plenty of top line experience from Grand Finals to SOO behind him. He will lead the young team around the park well , making a few errors here and there, but he will be crucial to this rebuilding phase of the Knights, bringing a lot of young potential into being a consistent successful first grade team. If you don’t have the local Hunter talent coming through for the key spine positions ( and currently they don’t) , you best import the best you can at the time. And I think Pearce is a great buy for the Knights at this stage of their development.

        • December 5th 2017 @ 10:13am
          Oingo Boingo said | December 5th 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

          He,ll play as well as he has at the Roosters , which will be good enough to see the knights move up the ladder considerably.
          This might be the missing something , that sees him reach that extra level that seems to have eluded him in the past .
          I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the knights , so I hope it works out well for all concerned.

          • Roar Rookie

            December 6th 2017 @ 12:11am
            William Dalton Davis said | December 6th 2017 @ 12:11am | ! Report

            The bigger question mark really is Ponga. Didn’t look ready for the NRL level last year and I wonder how he’ll cope with the pressure of being a centrepiece in an organisation that’s desperate for some success. If I were Brown I’d strongly consider whether or not he’s ready to be thrown in at 1 or if he needs a season or two on the wing first, but then of course you’re paying a massive contract not just for a rookie, but for a rookie on the wing.

            Luckily the Pearce signing should take a lot of pressure off him for now.

            • Roar Guru

              December 6th 2017 @ 11:45am
              Hoy said | December 6th 2017 @ 11:45am | ! Report

              Ponga’s manager needs to be taken to task for him moving… he could have earned good money, learned the trade under one of the best players to EVER play the game, and done something at a later date if he wanted to move from the ‘Ville.

              He is young, inexperienced, on a LONG term contract, for big money, with big expectations now.

              Going to be tough for him I think. He looks very good, but has a lot of learning to do. I hope his body holds up.

              • Roar Rookie

                December 6th 2017 @ 12:26pm
                William Dalton Davis said | December 6th 2017 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

                I think his father put a lot of effort into pushing him towards the money. I think I remember a story somewhere that he didn’t even want him playing league because golf had more money in it.

              • December 7th 2017 @ 6:01pm
                Larry1950 said | December 7th 2017 @ 6:01pm | ! Report

                Word was that Dad is the driver of everything there, slagged off at the Cowboys & reckoned they did nothing for the kid after he signed for the Knights. Meal ticket perhaps?

              • Roar Rookie

                December 7th 2017 @ 8:56pm
                William Dalton Davis said | December 7th 2017 @ 8:56pm | ! Report

                Meal ticket might be a little harsh. He’s dad worked in the mines for a long time I believe. I’d say he just doesn’t really give a lot of thought to the teams success and simply wants his son to be as well off as can be. Tbh I don’t blame Ponga for taking the money. It’s too much to say no to.

    • December 5th 2017 @ 7:21am
      Peter Phelps said | December 5th 2017 @ 7:21am | ! Report

      I hope it works for Newcastle’s sake. Pearce is very flakey and not my favorite sort of player. I am glad the storm couldn’t afford him.

    • December 5th 2017 @ 8:24am
      Greg Ambrose said | December 5th 2017 @ 8:24am | ! Report

      Supporters of most clubs are imagining better seasons in 2018 than this year. Once again I struggle to get a handle on what will actually happen. Could it be one of the most even comps in history? I can’t see Pearce improving at all , I think he has reached his potential but that should help the Knights move up the ladder. I can’t recall any halves or 5/8s displaying a hidden talent or skill beyond their first few years.

      Braith Anasta is a good example of someone who I was told had his best years ahead of him but he lacked the innate ability of the champions and so does Pearce.

    • December 5th 2017 @ 10:26am
      souvalis said | December 5th 2017 @ 10:26am | ! Report

      Two years ago Politis let go of Jimmy Maloney,he went on to take the Sharkies to their first ever premiership..this time he’s let go of Mitchell Pearce..I’m confused as to why the halfbacks been punted yet the slack underperforming front row has been kept with a frail,injury prone backrow…Sharkies lucked out 2 years ago and Brownie has done just as well this time round..

      • December 5th 2017 @ 1:30pm
        BlakeW said | December 5th 2017 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

        Pearce wasn’t punted. He bailed out.

        • December 5th 2017 @ 2:08pm
          souvalis said | December 5th 2017 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

          It was a push..

      • December 5th 2017 @ 4:32pm
        Albo said | December 5th 2017 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

        Just needs Cronk to do his ACL or pec in round 2 and the Chooks will be flying high, right back to 2016 form !

        • December 5th 2017 @ 9:25pm
          Peter Phelps said | December 5th 2017 @ 9:25pm | ! Report

          Cronk has been fantastic throughout his career largely because of his single minded focus on his game. Now he has a new club, with new partnerships, he is clearly distracted and he is the wrong end of 30. Is it just me that thinks the Roosters won’t see a big uptick from Pearce ?

          I still believe that Cronk’s move to the chucks is more about his super fund than about securing another Dally M

      • December 7th 2017 @ 12:07pm
        Mushi said | December 7th 2017 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

        1. Maloney wasn’t the half back
        2. It was a money thing, RTS hadn’t declined his deal yet when they tabled their first offer
        3. Maloney is a good guy but a bit of a class clown that makes coaches lives difficult (noticed he’s never exactly accumulated long service leave)

    • December 5th 2017 @ 12:25pm
      Big Daddy said | December 5th 2017 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

      Everyone is touting Pearce as the messiah but how hard will it be with a brand new team which could take a season to gel an then there’s Nathan Brown who I’ve never rated but people will say he was successful in England but that’s like coaching second grade.
      Only time will tell.
      With the roster they have bought there will be lots of pressure not only on Pearce but more so Brown.

    • Roar Rookie

      December 5th 2017 @ 6:58pm
      William Dalton Davis said | December 5th 2017 @ 6:58pm | ! Report

      I’m just happy I got to read Gallens initial comments get savaged by Brown, and then read Gallens child like retort. Nice piece of entertainment.

      God I hope Gallen doesn’t get a large media profile. Not because I hate him, which I don’t. It’s because whenever anybody says anything in reply to an opinion or a viewpoint of his he carries on like the mean girl on the playground. Or maybe I don’t know what I want because that sounds amusing.

      • December 5th 2017 @ 9:15pm
        Peter said | December 5th 2017 @ 9:15pm | ! Report

        Paul Galllen – in another life, he would be a brickie.

      • Roar Guru

        December 6th 2017 @ 11:48am
        Hoy said | December 6th 2017 @ 11:48am | ! Report

        I don’t understand how Gallen ended up in media at all really. He is a noted whinger on the field, a terrible captain. Good at trucking it up all day, but as you say, the minute something doesn’t go his way, he blows up delux, and spits his dummy.

      • Roar Guru

        December 7th 2017 @ 12:30pm
        Renegade said | December 7th 2017 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

        Gallen will be certainly have a decent media profile, his really good at it…. we actually get somebody saying what they think and why they think that, rather than the generic rubbish you get from players.

        Brown’s comment was hardly savage…. he looked silly in the end.

        Those that don’t Gallen though will say argue the opposite… just like those that don’t like Cam Smith think his a cheat and single-handedly ruined rugby league.

        • December 7th 2017 @ 2:00pm
          mushi said | December 7th 2017 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

          So what your saying is people that don’t like something are likely to continue to not like it so therefore there’s no point in discussing anything?

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