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Opinion

Are the Knights the current premiership favourites?

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Roar Pro
2nd April, 2020
19

The Knights were already the premiership favourites after they won the first two rounds of the 2020 season very convincingly, and that makes rookie coach Adam O’Brien flawless.

The Knights finished the suspended season in second place and scoring a total of 62 points and 11 tries, with experienced halfback Mitchell Pearce assisting in five of those.

Mitchell Pearce leads the suspended comp in try assists, with the next player in Brodie Croft from the Broncos having three try assists, so Pearce was really on a roll in the assists column.

New recruit Jayden Brailey had two try assists before he did his ACL against the Tigers, where he played the full 80 minutes and still managed to make 36 tackles, so the suspension in the competition will be a good thing for Brailey.

Kalyn Ponga is tied with Eels halfback Mitchell Moses in the point-scoring list with 26 and Ponga has scored two tries and had a conversion rate of 64.3 per cent, or 9/14.

The Knights beat the Warriors in Round 1 20-0 and beat the Tigers 24-42 where they absolutely dominated and proved they can be the premiership favourites, and we will see if this long break will halt their form from the first two rounds.

The Knights lead the point-scoring list with 62, the next best is eight points behind and that’s the Parramatta Eels with 54. They lead the competition in tries with 11 and the next best is the Broncos with nine and Kotoni Staggs scoring four of those.

As we all know, the backend of 2019 was very disappointing for the Knights and they didn’t make the eight after finishing 11th with a negative win/loss ratio of 10-0-14 to end the season. In their preseason trial game against a very young and poor Roosters side that they beat 58-0, everyone still doubted they could beat a full-on team with the likes of James Tedesco, but after the first two rounds they proved they can take on pretty much any team.

Mitchell Pearce doing the double teapot.

(Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

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If the competition was still going, their next match would be against the Sharks that started off 2020 with a 0-2 record after losing 22-18 against the South Sydney Rabbitohs and a narrow loss to the Melbourne Storm 10-12, where Tui Kamikamica scored the match-winning try in the 70th minute with Cameron Smith having a try assist and making 42 tackles.

Connor Watson coming off the bench was really good against the Wests Tigers after playing 49 minutes, scoring one try, 16 runs for 159 metres, nine tackle-breaks, one line-break and 16 tackles.

This long break can really benefit the Knights because players like David Klemmer and Mitchell Pearce can rest their bodies and when the season returns, they can play like they did in the first two rounds – or maybe even better. The Knights will be boosted by Tyson Frizell who hasn’t been registered yet by the NRL because of how the financial costs could look when the game returns, but I think this year or next year we will see him playing for the Knights.