Newcastle Knights captain Mitchell Pearce has urged fans to see the bigger picture when it comes to Kalyn Ponga and where he plays.
The veteran halfback admitted coach Nathan Brown is likely to switch his halves partner back to fullback for this Sunday’s game against the Dragons.
The decision follows just one win from three for the Knights so far this season.
Sign up for a free NRL Account to access this video and other exclusive content.
Not sure? Learn more about NRL Account
Pearce feels there’s too much expectation on the 20-year-old.
“With great players, when they come in there is so much expectation and we all love watching Kalyn play,” Pearce added.
“We can’t just put it on Kalyn’s shoulders.
“I thought he was doing some really nice things for a young five-eighth whose only played about 30 first grade games.”
As captain and the no. 7, Pearce is adamant he needs to take the lead more.
“From the halves point of view, I need to take more responsibility in some things and especially on the weekend,” he said.
“Kalyn can do his part at times, but as a whole team, we can do a lot of stuff off the ball.
“We’ve got plenty of things we want to keep working on as a team to play 80 minutes.
“Part of that is attack.”
And while Kalyn might be moving to no. 1 again, Pearce believes it won’t affect the whole cycle of the game.
“That is one little piece to the puzzle,” explained Pearce.
“Browny obviously sees that as an opportunity to free Kalyn up with his game.
“Hopefully that adds a bit to our attacking but there are other areas of our game we want to keep improving on for 80 minutes.
“There are some areas we need to improve, even defensively from the weekend.
“There’s definitely some flow things we would have liked to do a little better.”