May 13, 2014 Daniel Nichols Featured Guest Writers 1
Angry Newcastle Knights fans have started an online petition calling for the removal of multi time premiership winning coach Wayne Bennett in the wake of their record loss to the Panthers.
Surely no one saw this coming, and although only supported by a small percentage of fans, the fact a petition to remove Bennett exists shows just how dire things are in the Hunter.
Horrible on field results have been compounded by uncertainty at the top, with owner of the club Nathan Tinkler facing severe doubts about his ability to retain ownership.
It is Bennett’s recruitment policy, more specifically his tendency to recruit older players that has fallen foul of Newcastle fans. Although Beau Scott and Jeremy Smith have been great signings for the club, others such as Gower have not.
Gidley’s move to hooker has also drawn the ire of some fans, who maintain he should be playing fullback or in the halves.
Newcastle enjoyed an incredible finish to season 2013 and came into 2014 with plenty of momentum after a decent showing in the nines, but the wheels have fallen off.
Newcastle’s best performance came against the then winless Sharks on the back of emotion stemming from Alex McKinnon’s horrible injury.
Prior to the season kicking off the Knights lost front row recruit Russell Packer to a night of madness that led to his jailing. The injury to McKinnon has left them two short in the forwards, and they have suffered injuries to key players, however, on paper, they still have more than enough to compete.
Like many, I’m not sure how a side containing Uate, McManus, Boyd, Mullen and co. have struggled to score points.
Whatever the problem, the Knights, an ‘under fire’ coach Wayne Bennett need to find the answers soon before their finals chances well and truly extinguish.
Channel 9 Are The Home Of Rugby League…So They Tell Us
Channel 9 continue to promote themselves as the ‘home of rugby league’ despite the fact they only provide one live game a round. There is no doubt that 9’s live coverage of Friday Night footy is top class, but the Sunday delayed, standard definition broadcast is painful enough without constant reminders to watch the Big Bang Theory and the Voice. Commercials should be limited to commercial breaks. It’s borderline insulting. Johnathan Thurston lay injured on Friday Night and what were fans subjected too? An in play commercial for the Voice …
Ferguson To Return To The NRL?
Rumours of Blake Ferguson’s return to the NRL have surfaced with the Roosters reported to be interesting in signing the bad boy.
Opinion is split on whether he should be allowed, but what seems almost unanimous is the fans reluctance to accept Ferguson unless he shows genuine remorse for his actions.
To this point he is yet to show anything even close to remorse for the pain he caused Raiders and NSW fans last season, and he fails to accept responsibility for his conviction.
I’d like to see Fergo take responsibility for his actions and return to the game he is so capable of excelling at. In saying that, a percentage of his next wage should be paid to the Raiders, who did the right thing in cutting the wayward star, through no fault of their own.
Raiders In A Sticky Situation
After conceding 50 points for the second straight match, the Raiders are almost unbackable favourites for the wooden spoon. Plenty of fingers are being pointed at Ricky Stuart, and with good reason, however the players have to accept responsibility.
They were terrible, again, and will ship plenty of points if they don’t lift their game and quickly. Stuart may have to lace up the boots and get out there to save their season, and his coaching career.
NRL referees need a new sponsor, as obviously the glasses provided by current sponsor OPSM are not working. I hate bagging referees, it’s a tough job, but the level of refereeing so far this season has been horrible.
The owner of Monstasport, Daniel Nichols is one of the most prolific featured guest writers on League Freak's web site.
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Agree with the refs comment, it’s a tough job for sure, but they’ve made some howlers…no wonder Bellamy was going off!
The Holden Cup game between the Warriors U20s and the Raiders U20s had a female ref (not that gender matters of course), she did a great job. Wonder if we’ll see more female refs rather than just for Women in League round?