State of Origin II left a heavy injury toll.
Newcastle Knights went down to the Canberra Raiders in the nation’s capital 20-18.
Coming from down 14-0, Newcastle scored three consecutive converted tries to lead by four only to be heartbroken by Knights junior turned Raider Hudson Young.
Well done to both teams. Well done to Canberra for the win and well done to Newcastle for never giving up and almost stealing victory.
But as proud as I am we fought back well, I’m not happy we blew it.
Moving on, after the game I saw the usual crap from the online Knights supporting ‘experts’ about how Adam O’Brien should be sacked. I have said this so many times and will continue to do so: sacking the coach won’t work.
O’Brien came to town with a long-term plan. I get that this is his third year and that Knights fans just want us to win a premiership – I do as well – but as I’ve said countless times, we aren’t premiership contenders and we weren’t when our coach came to town.
I know that some fans want a quick fix, and here I am to drop the microphone by informing you that a quick fix isn’t the answer. Quick fixes don’t exist.
We tried a quick fix once, and look how well that went – not only did we not win a premiership, but it set us back a long way. Even if we had won the premiership in 2013, we still would have been set back in the same way. Quick fixes might bring short-term gain, but it’s in exchange for long-term pain.
Now let’s run the gauntlet: Adam O’Brien vs Newcastle’s wooden spoon streak.
O’Brien has 27 wins, 31 losses and a draw, while the Knights in 2015-17 had 14 wins, 57 losses and a draw
And now let’s compare eras.
The Knights 2020-22 have scored 1073 and conceded 1381 for a points difference of -374.
In 2015-17 the knights scored 1191 and conceded 2060 for a points difference of -869.
We have scored less in the O’Brien era, as you can see, but this season still isn’t over, and we’ve got enough time to score the missing 108. Let’s not forget 2020 was also a shortened season thanks to the pandemic.
Jayden Brailey will be back before the season is over, and when he comes back he will bring the required leadership the team needs and take the pressure off Kalyn Ponga, and if the season is over for the Knights, it can be a building for next year.
Instead of using a holistic ‘let’s just sack the coach’ attitude, a better idea would be to analyse every detail there is before you make a judgment call.
The fans do deserve better, and we will get there. We are truly the most passionate fans in the league. We show up for our team no matter what and we travel for our team. This season I can finally say that by Round 22 I’ll be ticking Lang Park off my bucket list for the Knights. It’s been a long-time goal of mine.
I want our team to use our attitude of never quitting against Canberra as motivation for the rest of the season and give us fans what we want to see in our team. We want our boys to win.