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Rumoured Targets 3

macavity

Referee
Messages
20,389
I’m just trying to figure out how virtually an entire squad goes backwards over an offseason. The only guys playing at last year’s level are Thompson and Frizell, and I can’t think of any players who have shown improvement.

they are head f**ked.
 

nick87

Coach
Messages
12,317
319 games so far... can't remember any sort of minor or major trophy. Has to be up there.
At least Hunt and Gagai have experienced highs in other aspects of their footballing career via Origin and Kangaroo jumpers

the recently retired BYC (and too young I might add!) limped home to 307 games with no minor premiership or premiership, and no representative experience, let alone success.
 

perverse

Referee
Messages
26,099
At least Hunt and Gagai have experienced highs in other aspects of their footballing career via Origin and Kangaroo jumpers

the recently retired BYC (and too young I might add!) limped home to 307 games with no minor premiership or premiership, and no representative experience, let alone success.
It's a rough old life, playing for our mobs.
 

Woosh

Head Moderator
Messages
1,073
When it comes to self-appraisal, few players are more honest about themselves than Daniel Saifiti.

He calls a spade a spade and always tells it like it is.

And right now, the big front-rower would be the first to admit his form stinks.

On the nose enough for many Knights fans to have lost faith in him. They want the club's second highest-paid player dumped from the squad altogether.

For reasons not even he can put a finger on, Saifiti has lost his edge at a time in his career when he should be peaking.

A lack of mobility with and without the footy has become a big issue. So too his stamina. He was once a 60-minute player. Now he battles to get through 40 even with intensity levels down.

The former Blues Origin prop is at his dominant best when he's fired up and tearing into opposition defences. But there have been few signs of any real aggression. The perception is he is stuck in a comfort zone.

Coach Adam O'Brien tried to flick a switch by starting him against the Bulldogs last Sunday instead of bringing him off the bench. It had no effect. He made just 61 metres from nine runs in 35 minutes. Most telling was his meagre 15 post contact metres, even less than Jayden Brailey.

But now comes the crunch.

The loss of Kalyn Ponga for 12 weeks has suddenly turned up the heat on the rest of the squad. No more sitting back and relying on Ponga's brilliance to win games.

O'Brien need 17 players ready to bust their backsides and fight for every scrap in every minute of every game if they are to save their season.

Daniel Saifiti, and to a lesser extent his twin brother Jacob, have to be the leaders of that. If they take charge up front and set the standard, the others will follow.

We'll know soon enough if Daniel still has it in him to rise to the challenge.

Pushing for a start

Phoenix Crossland could not have done more off the bench against the Bulldogs to convince his coach he deserves a chance in the starting side at lock.

His versatility makes him the perfect bench player but the way he came on and lifted the intensity and led the defensive line suggests he could be even better value doing it from the kick-off.

The other string to Crossland's bow is he is the biggest kicker in the team and could be used at first receiver to fix one of the side's biggest flaws.

Leo a real keeper

Kiwi Test prop Leo Thompson has been offered an upgraded four-year deal by the Knights and will become the first player at the club to be contracted beyond 2027 if he agrees to stay.

Currently, only three players - Kalyn Ponga, Bradman Best and Jacob Saifiti - are signed for 2027.

But so highly regarded is Thompson, Knights officials want him in Newcastle until at least the end of 2028.

He is already signed for next season on a deal worth about $350,000 but that will be upgraded if he commits long term.

The Knights' concern will rise if Thompson opts to wait until November 1 to test the market, as there is no doubt rival clubs will come for him armed with bigger cheque books.

Ponga talk way off

Kalyn Ponga took part in team contact sessions last week without the aid of painkillers and even put himself through a 30-minute goal-kicking session last Friday, two days before the Bulldogs game. It makes a mockery of the uninformed who took aim at the club, claiming he should never have played against the Dogs due to his hip pointer injury.

Knight attracts interest

Newcastle's NSW Cup captain Tom Cant has come under the attention of rival NRL clubs, with the back-rower off contract at the end of the season.

Cant's agent has made the Knights aware of the interest elsewhere with the Cowboys among the clubs to have spoken to the East Maitland junior.
 
Messages
739
DSaf - "no stability, stamina, aggression" - haha he is paid to train full time and cannot even have stamina ? shop him around, get rid of him.

Crossland - kicking, also highlights the lack of creativity out of dummy half. I like Brailey he seems a great club man, but I want a Premiership more than I like him - move him on.
 
Messages
739
Alex McKinnon reckons we'll have to move someone on to fit Leo in the cap.

Does this look about right?

DSaf - 800K
Brailey - 500K
JSaf - 700K
KPP - 400K
Friz - 600
Elliot -500

( Start ) Sub Total - 3.5 million

Hetherington - 500K
Leo - 350 K
Croker 200K
Crossland 250K

(Bench) Sub Total - 1.3 million

Total = 4.8 million

10 players with with 42.67% of the cap.

57.33% ( 6,450,000 ) remaining for 20 players (including 3 spine players)
 

perverse

Referee
Messages
26,099
I think Friz is on at least 700k, maybe north of that. Earns it, though.

Saf x 2 and Hetherington looking like terrible investments. Most clubs get the same performance out of half of that money and squeeze a Payne Haas or a JFH on top. DSaf is supposed to be our version of them. Pretty laughable. It's like the club wanted the pair of them to grow into that - they never actually did - but the club kept on treating and paying them as though they got there and stayed there.
 

macavity

Referee
Messages
20,389
We have far too much tied up in a frankly embarrassing pack, and the worst overall spine in the NRL. I expect big turn over this off-season. I also expect a spoon, but I’m a tragic pessimist.
 

TooheysNew

Coach
Messages
1,053
We have far too much tied up in a frankly embarrassing pack, and the worst overall spine in the NRL. I expect big turn over this off-season. I also expect a spoon, but I’m a tragic pessimist.
We need one of those. We also have Yosh and Alex.
 

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