Newcastle are possibly the hardest team to predict in 2022 with their halves quandary, Kalyn Ponga’s fluctuations and their inconsistency over the past two seasons adding up to a side whose results could vary wildly.
After a season of highs and lows, lockdowns and coronavirus, mid-season signings and enough injuries to fill an entire hospital ward, the Newcastle Knights have locked in their spot in finals footy after seven years.
Granted, Parramatta’s win over Warriors is what sealed the deal however, our win against Cronulla was the set up.
Friday night footy saw the Knights in front of their home faithful put Cronulla down with a convincing 38-10 win after their shock loss to Warriors. Despite conceding the opening try, Newcastle looked set to win the game playing with hardcore ruthless aggression.
Nothing could stop them, which includes Chad Townsend with the flying shoulder to Kalyn Ponga.
We saw the young KP floored more frequently than Kenny in South Park, only to get back up with a smile on his face and not an absolute fuck to give to deliver his first career hat trick.
His third try was the 100th try by a Newcastle Knights player against Cronulla in Newcastle. I also want to give an honourable congratulations to Josh King who after 59 games and debuting all the way back in 2016 finally scored his first.
Let’s look at the ladder from fourth to ninth:
Fourth: Sydney Roosters – 24
Fifth: Canberra Raiders – 22
Sixth: Newcastle Knights – 21
Seventh: South Sydney Rabbitohs – 20
Eighth: Cronulla Sharks – 18
Ninth: New Zealand Warriors – 14
Theoretically, Newcastle can still make fourth, which will require Knights to win all three with Sydney and Canberra posing their next two of three, meaning we will have to beat Roosters next week. I wouldn’t rule that out, anything can happen on the footy field.
For seventh and eighth, it’s Triple Threat between South Sydney, Cronulla and Warriors. Without Chad Townsend, I think Cronulla will miss out.
Now with the Knights, anywhere from fourth-sixth will guarantee them a home game of footy in front of their beloved Novocastrians. What us fans want is to see them play a home final for the firs time in 14 years.
Here’s a fact, the last three times we made the finals was in 2009, 2011 and 2013. What do all those years have in common? We had to win a game in Round 26 to crack finals footy.
With three rounds left to go, we have a chance to show exactly what we’re made of leading into the finals. What I do know is next week, we will be getting Edrick Lee and Daniel Saifiti back with Sione Mata’utia being 50/50.
Next week will be a test of will for the Knights as they take on Sydney Roosters at the SCG. In their last four wins, the Knights showed just how damaging they can be and that’s what they need to do against the Roosters.
To all my fellow Knights fans, let’s rejoice for we have convincing made the finals after all the struggles.
We are showing that we’re nowhere near that team who only won one match and conceded 800 points/142 tries in 2016.
Our team has been rebuilt since we shed the wooden spoon in 2018. Now our team is playing finals footy once more.