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Newcastle great claims Kalyn Ponga is at FAULT for ‘one or two’ tries the Knights concede each week

Newcastle legend Robbie O’Davis claims Kalyn Ponga is WRONG for ‘one or two’ tries the Knights concede each week and criticizes the fullback for being regularly out of position

The great Robbie O’Davis from Newcastle has criticized Knights captain Kalyn Ponga for being responsible for his team having to concede so many attempts.

The Knights have the worst points difference in the entire NRL and only three teams have conceded more points than the 362 Newcastle have allowed so far.

The Knights’ 20-18 loss to the Raiders on Sunday was their third loss in their last four games, leaving them in 12th place with a 4-10 record for the season.

Kalyn Ponga has been criticized for being responsible for the knights' poor defensive record

Kalyn Ponga has been criticized for being responsible for the knights’ poor defensive record

O’Davis, who won two NRL Grand Finals with Newcastle in 1997 and 2001, pointed to Ponga as one of the reasons for Newcastle’s defensive fragility after the star full-back was caught out of position for Hudson Young’s late match-winning try.

“Not that I fucking know anything but please someone tell our fullback not to defend on the front lines,” the former Queensland and Kangaroos star wrote on Facebook.

“We give away 1-2 tries a week because the fullback is in defence, not in the back. If they kick it, he should be there […] Am I the only one who sees this every week.’

Former Knights Star Robbie O'Davis Called Ponga's Poor Defensive Positioning

Former Knights Star Robbie O’Davis Called Ponga’s Poor Defensive Positioning

O'Davis spent his entire NRL career at Newcastle, winning two major finals in 1997 and 2002

O’Davis spent his entire NRL career at Newcastle, winning two major finals in 1997 and 2002

It is worrying for Newcastle that their defensive weaknesses are exacerbated by a sterile attack. The Knights’ three tries against the Raiders brought their season total to 33, the worst in the NRL.

Ponga, who signed a five-year contract in April to stay with the club until 2027, battled a stomach ailment on Sunday.

The Newcastle skipper appeared to be on the brink of vomiting during the match and coach Adam O’Brien revealed: the extent of the problem after the match.

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Ponga had prior to the match against Canberra. suffer from stomach flu

But the Queensland fullback recovered enough to face the heat of battle on Sunday

But the Queensland fullback recovered enough to face the heat of battle on Sunday

‘He couldn’t eat, he wasn’t well. I could see it would be a real question for him. But Kalyn was Kalyn and said, “I have to be there,” he told Fox League.

“He hasn’t eaten in a few days. Not much of him is as it is. He doesn’t get many compliments for his toughness, Kalyn. There are people who want to bite into him a bit.

“But I know, and we know what we have with him. We wouldn’t trade him for anyone.’

Despite the illness, Ponga put on two tries and finished the game with 120 yards, a linebreak, a linebreak assistant and converted all three of Newcastle’s attempts as the Knights came back from 14-0 and held a temporary four point lead.

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