Kalyn Ponga came to the Newcastle Knights in 2018 as an unproven commodity.
As a Knights fan, I do tend to write a lot of articles about my team.
It’s no secret how much I love my team. I went to both trials and saw a lot of positive things from the first graders. A few players have stood out.
Our reserves are a bit of an issue but they could prove me wrong. I saw one standout reserve in Tex Hoy, who really has been gunning it in the number six role. Kurt Mann has earned his right to take first dibs at the role.
Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga have proven how much damage they can produce when they take charge as they did in the first half.
Jayden Brailey has shown the impact he can make from dummy half and he has to be one of the best dummy-half recruits we’ve ever had. Sorry Brails, but Danny Buderus will always take the cake there.
Herman Ese’ese (starting) and Connor Watson (bench) both shared the role extremely well. Ese’ese seems to be more of a prop-like lock and Watson is similar to the play-making lock role as Brad Fittler and Braith Anasta did a decent number of times in their careers.
David Klemmer and Daniel Saifiti look to be the NRL counterpart of the Bash Brothers from The Mighty Ducks.
Some people will most likely call this to be based on things like luck, but luck is pretty much out of the picture.
The Knights could make the eight this year and they should have last year, but it didn’t go to plan.
With 12 days left before Newcastle finally kick off their season against the Warriors, all eyes will be on them.
I don’t think the pressure will be on them as it was last season but I’m not calling a finals-or-bust scenario like it was with Nathan Brown last year.
From what I saw in the trials, as quoted by the legendary Bob Dylan, the times they are a-changin’.