Discussion in 'Knights Signings, Rumours & Player Movement' started by krustykraz, Oct 21, 2017.
DT always does Beatell, always.
Nothing for nothing in Uncle Rupe's world!
I suspect he's working with Jack Johns too, but maybe not at the same time.
Ponga is the interesting one. As I've said before, if Brown is as much in love with the idea of a running 5/8 as he seems to be, Ponga has the best running game of anyone at our club as present and lists 5/8 as one of the positions he plays. Pearce also mentions Ponga every time he talks about guys he is wanting to form combinations with.
It's not how i'd go, but I won't be shocked to see a Pearce/Ponga combination at least get a run in the trials to see how they work together.
Billy the combination he’s talking about could well just be the fullback supporting and running plays off the half. Similar to the way Slater fed off Cronk
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It's frustrating that people on here think that Brown made some grand plan 6 months ago, before he got a chance to even see the players he bought up close, and he is incapable of changing plans.
Brown even says he is looking at different combinations and has different things in mind - but no - he said something before he had all the facts, and now he must do it.
I don't know if you guys think Brown is a genius who can forecast the future, or so stupid that he can't change his mind, ever.
Matthew Johns has been working with Kalyn Ponga and Connor Watson as Newcastle gear up for 2018
Nick Walshaw, The Daily Telegraph
December 20, 2017 4:38pm
SUPERSTAR Newcastle signing Kalyn Ponga has been working with club great Matthew Johns over summer as part of an eye-catching preparation for the 2018 NRL season.
Still only 19, Ponga was recently sent to Sydney for training with Johns, The Daily Telegraph columnist and Fox Sports and Triple M regular who doubles as one of rugby league’s sharpest and most sought-after tacticians.
Also attending the session alongside the rising fullback, who joins Newcastle on a $3 million deal, were emerging halves Connor Watson, Brock Lamb and Jack Cogger.
The decision by Knights coach Nathan Brown to send the quartet to Johns mirrors that of Melbourne premiership rival Craig Bellamy, who earlier this year flew three players — Billy Slater, Cameron Munster and rising halfback Brodie Croft — north for a similar coaching experience.
In Grand Final week, Storm assistant coach Adam O’Brien revealed how he and the players, who stayed at a hostel near Johns’ northern beaches home, would fly into Sydney on a Wednesday for a field session later that afternoon.
Then it was dinner, bed and up early again for another 7am skills session the following morning.
From there, the group would take an 11am flight to be home in time for a weights session at Storm HQ.
And now the Knights are in, too.
“We went down and did some stuff with Matty, yeah,’’ confirms Watson, the recruited Rooster looking to secure the No. 6 jersey in 2018.
“There was a small group of us did some stuff a few weeks ago — just before Mitchell Pearce signed — which was awesome.
“Matty was a guy who had such a great career. And when you spend time with him, you can see why.
“Just the way he moves, the way he thinks about the game, his footy smarts ... it’s incredible.”
Asked his thoughts on Ponga, who has already earned rave reviews for his efforts in pre-season training, Watson laughed: “I think we just need to give him the ball then sit back and watch.
“Kalyn is such a special talent.
“Obviously he’s still only young and nowhere near his peak yet. And that makes it exciting to think about what’s to come.
“It’s going to be really exciting for fans to watch and, personally, really cool to be part of that development too.”
Ironically, Johns was also instrumental in coaxing Ponga to the Knights.
Back in April, the former Kangaroo confirmed that he had spruiked both the club, and his hometown of Newcastle, in a conversation with Ponga’s father Andre.
“I didn’t speak to Kalyn personally, but I had a good chat with his old man,” Johns said.
“I told him that Newcastle is a great city, it’s a place for families and I also told him that the people of Newcastle would look after Kalyn and get behind him.
“And I have no concerns about Kalyn’s ability to make it in the NRL.
“The Knights had to pay ‘overs’ but the kid will justify it.”
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No mate this is just my opinion, I see no need to move Ponga to 5/8 he will have more than enough opportunity to get the ball in attack and work as a 3rd half without needing to put the extra responsibility on him or move him away from bring the ball back from a kick. A good fullback these days should be working with halves coaches to sharpen these skills and working on plays with the halves. IMO
Ponga is 19. He should be tried in any position he might go OK in, just to see how he goes.
It may not happen in 2018 because it will take a while for them to learn to play as a team ...BUT ...If Ponga , Watson , Pearce , Lamb , Levi , Moga , Skd , Ese,ese and the Twins Play there best footy we are going to scare the crap out of a lot of teams even this year and every team in 2019..
I'm almost salivating at the thought of the running games of Ponga , Watson , Moga and Skd in the backs and also the thought of them linking up with Levi's work out of dummy half .
I think the twins and Herman will get us going forward and that should make that back line devastating.
I'm not as worried as much as others about our kicking game as from all reports Ponga has the skills to throw in when needed but imo Pearce will be all we will need in that department and nothing says Lamb wont be there somewhere later on anyway .
Anyone thinking Ponga will trial in the halves with Pearce are delusional. Only position Ponga will be playing is fullback unless there is a injury in the middle of a game.
Ponga is the ideal modern day fullback. Great footwork which makes for an exciting running game and very classy with the ball in hand which is needed as fullbacks often have to make the final read/pass in attack which can be the difference between a try/no try.
I see no reason to give him a look in the halves, not with Pearce, Watson, Lamb and Cogger. Ponga will have his hands on the ball enough and I don’t want him defending up in the line either. Physically I doubt he could handle it. Size and strength is his biggest downfall at the moment which will come as he matures in age. Not putting him in that position now though.
Not 'anyone' or 'everyone' just 'someone'.
He is here to play fullback.
He is training with Matt Johns.
Matt Johns doesn't now and never has trained guys to play fullback.
He lists 5/8 as one of his positions.
He is clearly polishing up his skills - maybe just to see what skills he has - maybe because Brown sees something he likes in his running game - maybe we are spending money on getting him specialist training because we have money to burn.
Whatever the reason, he is training as an option in the halves.
In the one interview Ponga has had on the Knights site 2 weeks ago he said this;
"If Browny (Nathan Brown) wants to move me to the halves, or anywhere really, I will be happy to.
“Fullback is my position and that is where I want to be, but if I get shifted around I’m not too fazed.”
I don't think he was talking about Brown moving him to the halves out of the blue. I think it was at least mentioned to him at some stage.
....fullbacks share skills with 5/8ths smh
Fullbacks are the third half in the game now, probably not long before they all start coming through the grades with ball playing skills & having halves training. One of the highlights I watched around the time of signing with Ponga, showed he was very much a ball player too with short & long passing & kicking in the opp 20.
It’s essential in today’s game
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Every fullback in every grade at every club will be doing ball work with the halves these days. Nothing uncommon in this instance with Ponga.
Ponga won't go into the halves for a few years, im sure they will trial it at some point in his career, but for now #1.
It depends on how serious Brown is about having a running 5/8, and whether Watson is what he is looking for.
Assuming he can't wait for Tex Hoy to come up from the under 18s, Ponga is just about the only other option.
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