A good goal-kicker can win you matches and nib Newcastle Knights have certainly seen that to be true on a few occasions.
While many will remember Andrew Johns hitting the winning conversion from the sideline against the Dragons in 2003, and Kurt Gidley’s following suit to beat the Storm 11 years later, but who is actually the best goal-kicker, statistically, we've ever had?
www.newcastleknights.com.au have looked over the records and found the top five kickers in Knights history – and warning, the results may shock you.
Note: Only players who kicked more than 50 goals were considered.
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5. Kalyn Ponga
Coming in at No.5 is the only current player of this list – our electric fullback, Kalyn Ponga.
Ponga has nailed 84 conversions since joining the side in 2018, missing just 27 so far, earning himself a very respectable percentage over 75%.
The incumbent Queensland No.1 once again assumed goal-kicking duties for our first two games in 2020 and will be hoping he can make that number rise.
4. Kurt Gidley
Kurt Gidley sits in second in the Knights all-time point scoring list largely thanks to his dead-eye ability from the tee.
The former Club and New South Wales captain hit 452 goals from his 577 attempts when wearing red and blue however at times he was also the kicker for his state and country when playing at representative levels.
While goal-kicking certainly wasn’t the part of his game he was known for, it often proved rather valuable in gaining victories.
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3. Wes Naiqama
Our third best goal-kicker was a man who was very rarely considered the primary option for the role, but considering Wes Naiqama’s strike rate, maybe he should have been.
The Fijian centre ended his five-year Knights career hitting 60 conversions from his 75 attempts, finishing off with 80%.
In fact, the man who captained the Club on two occasions only missed 37 times in his whole career. Not bad from a guy who was often the ‘back-up’ choice.
2. Daniel Abraham
This one will surprise a lot.
In the eight years big back-rower Daniel Abraham spent at the Knights, he made a name for himself as a hard-hitting, ball-running, barnstormer, but what you may have forgotten is that he also could nail conversions.
Abraham hit many of his attempts as the second-string goal-kicker, however was the main source of conversions in 2003 and 2004 when Johns went down with injury.
The 2001 Premiership winner hit 65 goals, missing just 16.
1. Trent Hodkinson
No, it’s not Joey…
Trent Hodkinson was renowned for his kicking game, especially when it was from the conversion tee and in his two years at the Knights, he kicked his best numbers.
From his 113 attempts, the Club captain at the time nailed 93 of them and continuously proved his reliability.
Although his time with the team saw much adversity both from a bad run of injuries and the team’s performances, we could often count on ‘Hokko’ to add the extra two points.
While he is unarguably the greatest Knight to lace up a boot and made plenty of valuable conversions for the team, Joey ended his career with a strike rate of 74.25%...although he still hit 917 from 1235 attempts.
In the history of the Club, only two men have scored more goals than Tyrone Roberts as he scored 163 goals from 224 attempts, finishing his Knights career with 72.77%.