After a season with so much promise and a thirst to finally end the club’s finals drought, the Newcastle Knights couldn’t get the job done.
A devastating 54-10 thrashing to the Penrith Panthers wasn’t the way we wanted our players to finish the season. I’d rather they lose but take it down to the wire instead of getting hammered.
As a fan in attendance, I was disgusted in what was displayed.
After Penrith scored their fifth try, the Knights simply just gave up.
Some away losses, they got slaughtered. They just didn’t have the endurance. It’s like trying to run a ten-kilometre race but knowing you can only run eight.
For the eight kilometres you’re either in the lead or level, then you drop because you don’t have the endurance.
This is rather like Newcastle in the games they got hammered – a severe lack of endurance in which they submitted.
However, there are some stats we have improved in.
In 2019, Newcastle scored 485 points compared to 414 in 2018 – a differential of 71. That includes 79 tries compared to 73 – an improvement of six.
In defence, the Knights only conceded 522 points compared to 607 last season – 85 fewer – while letting in ten less tries, 99 in 2018 and 89 in 2019.
I’m very disappointed with this season. I’m happy we have made some improvements but there were times when it mattered, and we just didn’t finish off the job.
We had the team on paper to make the top eight, we just lacked the hunger and mentality at times.
Yes we didn’t make the eight, but with a new coach next year, I’ll be just as frustrated if we don’t make the eight in 2020.
Having a team on paper and having a team on the field are two different things. We won six games in a row and looked set to make the finals, then we lost our mojo.
The team that got thrashed against the Panthers to finish off the season looked far different to the team that won six in a row. I don’t know what happened to that team, but as much as I love my Knights, this is not acceptable.
Next year, I want the Newcastle Knights to show they’re more than just a team on paper. I want them to show they’re ready to prove they’ll break into the finals and show that they have what it takes to be competitive.
Most importantly, I want them to play for their fans.
I think they got overconfident thinking they’d get there, and sadly, it didn’t work out. Overconfidence is never a good attitude to have.
From this Newcastle Knights fan and from many others, this season was a failure. We still love our team but we are disappointed.
Wests may own the Knights, but Andrew Johns said it himself: us fans own the club.