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Mitch Barnett's road to 100 NRL Games

He's known as 'The Enforcer' for a reason.

Mitch Barnett has been one of the most consistent and inspirational nib Newcastle Knights of his generation, and plays like a man with 300-plus games under his belt.

It makes it all the more hard to believe the Wingham junior has only played 99 games thus far.

Ahead of his milestone game at Magic Round in Brisbane this weekend, we've gone on a deep-dive into the career of the man they call 'Barney'.


- Playing at the Raiders, Barnett was handed his NRL debut by Ricky Stuart in their Round 22 clash with the Tigers in Canberra. Originally named on the bench, Barnett started the game in the back-row alongside Josh Papalii, with the Green Machine going down 20-18 thanks to a late try to Luke Brooks.

- The 21-year-old played the following week against Manly, with his side again falling short by a two point margin. The game was ultimately Barnett's last for the Raiders, who finished two wins outside the top eight in 10th.


- After a lack of opportunity saw him without any game-time in Canberra, Barnett joined the Knights mid-season on an immediate transfer.

- Barnett made nine appearances for his new Club, running in two tries. Unfortunately, with the Club in the midst of the biggest re-build in its history, Barnett was incredibly left without a win to his name after 11 NRL games.

- The Knights finished the season in last position on the ladder, however there was no doubting Barnett was a major asset to the side, running for an average of 125 metres per game.


- This year represented one to remember for Barnett, who played his first full season in the NRL.

- He finally tasted victory in the NRL for the first time in the Knights' round 2 win over the Titans.

- While his team again struggled, Barnett was a shining light, picking up his first career double in a Round 22 win over the Warriors.

- Playing as a lock, Barnett went onto claim his first Danny Buderus Medal as the Knights Player of the Year, racking up a career-high 31 tackle breaks and 763 tackles in a sensational season.

- His form earned him a new contract, with Barnett re-signing until the conclusion of the 2020 season.


- Shifting from the middle of the park, Barnett found a new home on the edge as a back-rower.

- He played his 50th NRL game in the Round 19 win over the Gold Coast, scoring two tries in a special display.

- The Knights improved to finish 11th on the ladder, with Barnett running for a career-high 2224 post-contact metres.


- 2019 was arguably Barnett's best in the top grade, with 'The Enforcer' becoming the first player to claim two Danny Buderus Medals at the Club's end-of-year Awards Evening.

- Barnett was a constant threat on the right edge, scoring a career-high seven tries in a huge display.

- He also picked up the kicking tee for the first time, booting three conversions from three attempts.

- Barnett inked a new extension following the conclusion of the season, keeping him tied to the Club until at least the end of the 2023 season.


- 2020 was a mixed year for Barnett, who faced a major injury hurdle following a neck injury he sustained in Round 2.

- Following the COVID shutdown and an eight-week stint on the sidelines, Barnett returned and made an instant impact to the team.

- Shifting back to the middle of the park in the No.13 jumper, Barnett played an instrumental role in returning the Knights to the finals for the first time since 2013.

- His first finals game ended in a 46-20 loss to South Sydney, however Barnett earned plenty of wraps from the likes of Andrew Johns after another impressive campaign.


- Up until Round 9, Barnett was yet to miss a minute after pulling 80 minute stints in all of the opening eight games.

- Barnett already has three tries to his name, while he took over goal-kicking duties on a full-time basis in the absence of Kalyn Ponga.

- Will play his 100th NRL game in the Round 10 clash with the Tigers, with game kicking off Magic Round in Brisbane.