Analysis

Knights all-in on Kalyn Ponga

"YouTube compilations don't win trophies"

By Michael Cox aka The Knights Watchman

 

Kalyn Ponga has always been a player paid on promise but 2022 is the season he must deliver.

From the time a struggling Knights took a punt on a 18-year-old phenom with a YouTube showreel full of ankle-breaking sidesteps, but with grand total of one game of first grade experience, and made him the highest paid player on its roster, the reality is that Ponga’s five seasons at the Knights has been one of steady development stunted by stints on the sidelines.

Sure, the YouTube highlight reels full of footwork porn have grown but the on-field results are yet to match the hype. Optimists might point to two semi-final appearances, but the realist can counter with two first round exits.

Courtesy of a contract extension inked in 2018, Ponga is now not only just the highest paid player on the Knights roster but most likely the highest paid player in the game at a rumoured $1.25m. That kind of cash for a fullback shouldn’t get you a respectable 12-12 win loss record and straight sets exit from finals. Players get paid that much to lift the NRL trophy on grand final night.

 

 

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