Tinkler’s Knights No More

Wayne Bennett - Coach of the Newcastle Knights
The Knights need a change of fortune. Image courtesy of couriermail.com.au / Photo: Liam Driver

New Zealand Warriors v Newcastle Knights
Mt Smart Stadium
Sunday June 1 – 12:05 PM (AEST)


To say it's been a year of turmoil at Newcastle is an understatement.  For the Knights , there have been dramas on and off the field. First it was the Alex McKinnon incident, then it was the rumours of players unhappy at the club. Now with controversial owner Nathan Tinkler walking away from the club, financial woes have surfaced. If the New Zealand Warriors  are smart, they will capitalize on the drama and push for victory on Sunday. Rugby League is a business and you have to take any advantage you can get.

The Knights just cannot catch a break. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Outstanding for the Maroons in Origin 1 on Wednesday night, Darius Boyd needs to bring that form to club level. Boyd scored two tries for the beaten Maroons and went close to crossing for a third. On a positive note, Jarrod Mullen has been a little glimmer of hope for the Novocastrians, producing the form which saw him picked for NSW in 2007. Along with Boyd, Jeremy Smith and Beau Scott return to the starting side, pushing Jake Mamo and Joseph Tapine out of the side.

It’s been said time and time again, but the Warriors really are rocks and diamonds, and their season reflects that. After a three-game losing streak, the Warriors have produced some great performances, such as the one against the Storm, and some heartbreaking performances, like the one against the Bulldogs. After announcing his retirement at the end of the season, Sam Rapira returns onto the bench. Ben Henry is out with a knee injury with Suaia Matagi starting in the front row and Ben Matulino in the back row. Shaun Johnson is still battling a niggling ankle injury and is only a 50-50 chance of playing.

The Knights have just too much drama to steal this one. If the football gods are kind, it won’t be a shellacking.

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