In a game that’s often accused of giving second (and third, fourth, fifth…) chances to the wrong people, it warms my cold, cynical heart to see Jarrod Mullen back playing rugby league.
The Newcastle Knights returning home to Marathon Stadium to play against the last-placed Canterbury Bulldogs – and a red hot, rampant Knights team against a team playing last – should be a game we can win.
I’ll give credit to Canterbury, they just rolled us over and took it out to an 18-0 lead after 60 minutes.
While we had our chances, we only cashed in twice and blew most of our opportunities.
I accept all the heat I get from my fellow Knights fans for saying this next sentence: we are not premiership favourites or contenders.
We have got a lot of work to do. Of our four losses, two of them were against North Queensland and Canterbury, who we should have beat.
We are not consistent with our efforts and we should actually be hammering teams in the bottom four.
We may have got the job done against Brisbane but we still need to show a style of play that makes sure every team we are going to face knows not only are they in for a fight, but most likely will be quaking in their boots.
I do applaud the defensive effort that Newcastle showed most of the game but the effort they showed in attack was horrible.
I do admire the work from Kurt Mann – he was hands down our best player of the match and I dare say the best of the year.
Next week, we have Melbourne and we can’t take them lightly or blow any chances. If we do, not only will Melbourne make us pay, the Knights will be dominated by them.
The Knights I saw dominate Canberra earlier this year need to be consistently improving to show they are premiership threats.
A message to the players: show us you’re ready to be winners and take this year’s premiership because the reality is that the other 15 teams aren’t going to hand it to you.
You need to take it at all costs.