Fifita contract at the Titans level stupidity to throw that much at a non spine player
I'd lean towards recruiting a star in the spine and a cheaper second rower than a star second rower and a cheap spine player. Pointless having a Ferrari when there's no one to steer it - sitting in the driveway.Not really how the cap works. If we got rid of Friz, we need to replace him (i.e his spot in the top 30 still needs to be filled, and we would need another player in a position we are short in - backrow). He's on more like $700k too, I believe. The vast majority of Pearce's money hasn't been spent though, that much is true.
If Munster leaves Melbourne, I suspect he's going to the Dolphins. I believe the amount of overs we'd have to pay to make him even think twice about coming to Newcastle would be so far and above what he would be more happy to play on in Melbourne or for Wayne... it's really not worth destroying our cap that much.
For the last few years, the thought process was Kalyn Ponga would be that world class player to play in the six jersey sooner rather than later. Now, there is genuine doubt over whether he will ever be ready to make the move.
It's left the Knights clutching at straws for answers and is why Anthony Milford has suddenly become so important to O'Brien. Outside of Cameron Munster, who is off contract at the Storm at the end of next year and Mitchell Moses, who has a clause in his favour at the Eels, Milford is the only recognised available playmaker on the market.
He has been widely tipped to be heading to the Dolphins in 2023 to reunite with Wayne Bennett but Newcastle is convinced he is not fully committed and will do whatever they can to get him to stay. O'Brien's coaching future at the club may hinge on whether they can.
The Knights' run of eight defeats in their past nine games has done nothing to endear the club to potential new recruits.
Brisbane centre Herbie Farnworth has been on the club's radar for quite some time amid some serious negotiations but it was no surprise to see him commit to the Broncos for another season only a matter of a few days after his side put the clearers through the Knights in Newcastle last round.
Future: Knights coach Adam O'Brien is signed until the end of the 2024 season but his future at the club may well be decided by how successful Newcastle is in signing a world class playmaker to run the show. Picture: Darren Pateman.
Now we hear Canberra backrower Adam Elliott is torn between staying at the Raiders for a further three years or jumping ship to Newcastle for the same length contract. The fact Canberra has won three straight games to surge back into top eight reckoning has no doubt hurt Newcastle's cause.
Cross to bear
Adam O'Brien has defended bench utility Phoenix Crossland from a barrage of social media criticism of his recent form from Knights fans.
Crossland has been working in tandem with starting hooker Chris Randall with the pair sharing the role over the past few weeks.
"He's a young kid doing his best in a tough situation so I'm surprised he's been copping it,"O'Brien said. "It was always going to be a huge ask for Randy to play big minutes week after week in Brails' [Jayden Brailey] absence.
"So we've needed Phoenix there to fill the void for us, particularly with Kurt Mann unavailable as well. He's worked his backside off and there have been some games where I've felt he's definitely added something to us when he's come on."
In a boost, Kurt Mann is on track to be back from injury for the Knights clash against premiers Penrith in a fortnight. Mann, who suffered a rare burst blood vessel in his ankle that required surgery a few weeks ago, will take advantage of next weekend's bye to ensure he is right to resume.
Cup's Knights flavour
There will a distinct Newcastle Knights flavour in the Challenge Cup final in English early tomorrow morning our time with Huddersfield taking on English glamour club Wigan in the decider.
Former Knights' Luke Yates, Danny Levi and Jack Cogger have been named in the Giants' 17-man squad for the game while Newcastle-bound England teenager Will Pryce will start at fullback.
Another Newcastle-bound player, backrower Kai Pearce-Paul, will miss the game for Wigan due to injury.
With the players we have, please enlighten me on what you would doSo plan B, the back-up plan for our crucial spine position Randall cannot play 80 min of footy and is apparently the fittest bloke at the club? and the back-up plan for the back-up plan is Crossland.
Kurt Mann is a boost? ( sadly this is true)
AOB isnt up to the task of an NRL coach.
It was poor planning that got us here with the players we have, Pearce left but no suitable replacement, Brailey long term injury prior to season start, we had places in our roster that could/should have been filled to cover those two very important spine positions, damage done, season in jeopardy.With the players we have, please enlighten me on what you would do
I would NOT have had the players we have.With the players we have, please enlighten me on what you would do