The Newcastle Knights went to AAMI Park against the Melbourne Storm last night on the back of an outstanding six-game winning streak, including their last two victories against the Sydney Roosters and the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Sure, the Roosters had no Cooper Cronk and the Rabbitohs had no Cody Walker or Adam Reynolds but they still had their full-strength forward packs. Also, the Knights defeated South Sydney without David Klemmer and Kalyn Ponga.
For pretty much any team, playing the Storm in Melbourne is tough task. AAMI Park has become the modern-age fortress. The Knights were in the game until Edrick Lee got sin-binned and prior to that they were making errors constantly.
Newcastle eventually slumped to a 34-4 defeat. Now that horror show is said and done, we can focus on the valuable lessons the Knights can take from that experience.
1. This will not change anything
Sometimes, a loss will bring out much more in a team than a win.
Take Melbourne. They have only lost twice this year and that didn’t change a thing.
For Newcastle, this result is disappointing but they will learn a lot from it, as they did after their shock loss to the Titans a number of months ago.
With rep round coming and a week off for the squad, they will ensure they come into their Round 15 clash against Brisbane aiming to take charge.
2. Kalyn Ponga and Mitchell Pearce are still a lethal duo
Against Melbourne hardly anything went to plan but the one try Newcastle scored was off a Pearce-Ponga combination.
It seems like we’ve got the living comparison of Gary Moore and Phil Lynott on the football field. When Pearce and Ponga are playing their absolute best together, the Knights’ opponents cannot handle what they throw at them.
3. Newcastle Knights are still legit
Sure, we may have not achieved the result we wanted, but there’s no point losing hope because we got thrashed.
When the Knights have all their troops ready for battle, they are ready to take charge and cause total mayhem for whoever they face.
Roarers, what do you think? Will the Knights bounce back or do you think this will lead to a big downward spiral?