All about Ponga, captain criticism

There’s been no shortage of interest in our boys this week.

After a triumphant win over the red hot Eels at home, the nib Newcastle Knights attracted plenty of media attention and we’ve pulled together some of it in case you missed it.

All about Ponga

As usual, talk continues to surround Kalyn Ponga and his switch to fullback.

Coach Nathan Brown grilled about his decision to move him to five-eighth and then his decision to move him back to the no. 1.

Captain Mitchell Pearce told Fox Sports NRL 360, his former halves partner needs to go where the team needs him.

Knights v Warriors Round 8 NRL team

“I’m still a believer in Kalyn as a five-eighth, whether it was now or down the track,” Pearce told Ben Ikin and Paul Kent.

“But he’s obviously shown his form at fullback.

“At this point in time, he’s probably better suited for our team as a fullback.”

But the Knights halfback wouldn’t write Ponga off as a six in the future.

“I think he’s got the ability to play there,” Pearce said.

“At the start of the year we were a bit clunky with our attack and the cohesion wasn’t there so Browny decided to put Kalyn back to fullback and it has been a good move.

“He really lit us up at the back, his personal form is good.

Meanwhile more Ponga questions found their way to Brown on Macquarie Sports Radio.

Grand final junior rep team lists

Will he ever move his young superstar back to no. 6?

“Injuries will play a factor and there is no doubt about that and who is on the field when certain people are fit,” Brown told James Willis.

“Hopefully we get Kurt (Mann) back and he’s obviously a bloke that can cover a number of positions just like Connor (Watson) and we find out our best-balanced squad.

“If our main halves are fit, KP will stay out at fullback, but if we had to move out of necessity, he can go there and do a good job and he’s done plenty of training there.”

Captain criticism

There’s no-one more critical about Mitchell Pearce’s’ game than Mitchell Pearce himself.

The captain told NRL 360 he was disappointed with his start to the season.

Rookie Report: Confident half, work horse forward

“I wouldn’t say it was horrible,” he told Ben Ikin and Paul Kent.

“At my best I would have liked to think I could have got us over the line.

“When the cohesion of your attack is not going great, as captain and halfback I hurt over that.

“I take it personally and it does fall a lot on me.

“We’ve had some new players come in, so I think I was worrying too much about it, trying to get the team going instead of worrying about my own role.”