No Good News For The KnightsEmbed from Getty Images
A tough year awaits the Newcastle Knights in 2022. There’s already friction about the future of star fullback Kalyn Ponga and whether he’ll remain at the club.
Mitchell Pearce, along with Ponga, was the heartbeat of Newcastle. You can add Connor Watson to the list: he gave it his all for the Novocastrians.
With an inexperienced half pairing of Jake Clifford and Adam Clune, Newcastle can’t simply sit back and wait for Ponga to do something. Opposition clubs will know this, and exploit it.
It seems like 2022 will be a backward step for the Knights. After finishing in seventh place the last two seasons with Adam O’Brien at the helm, they might just finish in the first half of the bottom eight this season.
Cowboys Set For Wooden SpoonEmbed from Getty Images
The poor old North Queensland Cowboys, with Todd Payten at the helm, are heading for the wooden spoon in 2022. So many factors go against the Townsville-based franchise.
With the expectation the Bulldogs will lift themselves off the bottom of the ladder with excellent recruitment, a poor away record makes the Cowboys vulnerable to collecting the spoon.
The signing of Chad Townsend will help guide them around the paddock but what can’t be overlooked is Tom Dearden’s record at NRL-level, with only five wins from 34 games.
Expect the relationship between Jason Taumalolo and Payten to continue to fray, with the Cowboys’ highest earner set for reduced time again in the new season.
Twelve players are off contract at the end of 2022, and this appears to be the best time for Payten to start shaping the side he wants, if he survives the axe from the Cowboys board.
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