Bomb threat! Ponga on Turbo leap alert

Kalyn Ponga is on red alert … well, more like maroon alert.

He hasn’t forgotten about the last time he faced off against Tom Trbojevic.

It was State of Origin and the Manly No.1 out-leapt Ponga for a bomb to score in game two of the 2019 series.

It wasn’t a rare moment either.

It has happened previously.

So, Ponga knows what to expect if he finds himself in a bomb situation against Trbojevic when the nib Newcastle Knights face Manly at Lottoland on Saturday.

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“He’s done it over me about three or four times now,” Ponga said.

“I know what to expect. I’m kind of hoping other people are around me to help me out.

“I’m not the only one he’s done it to, so I feel kind of good about myself.

“Obviously, he’s very good at that. He’s a tall thing. It’s in his game so I’ll have to find a way to stop him doing it.”

Running out in Round 20 with a new-look line-up, coach Nathan Brow has made a host of changes to the side which went down to the Wests Tigers.

While there’s fresh combinations this week, Ponga said changes as a result of Origin, injury or form can’t be used as an excuse for not getting the job done.

“The changes, this weekend, we’ll see how they go but the boys coming in want to be there. They want to defend and do the jersey proud,” he said.

“That’s the main thing for me.  We have to put more effort in that area, hopefully that gets us the goods.”

One change Ponga is adamant the team needs to make is with their attitude.

The livewire has declared the Knights need to work on controlling the ruck and that starts with desire.

“If you want to win a tackle, you’ll win it,” he said.

“I just don’t think we’ve had enough attention to detail in that area over the last few weeks.”