The Knights are being accused of treating skipper Kalyn Ponga as a protected species within the wake of the star’s pub bathroom scandal – with teammates dealing with harsher sanctions for what’s seen by many as much less critical offences.
Ponga and teammate Kurt Mann – who’re each presently sidelined with damage – have been kicked out of the identical bathroom cubicle on the Delany Lodge in Newcastle’s CBD on Saturday night.
It was the identical night time the Knights have been getting belted 28-10 by the Broncos, with the membership languishing at 14th on the ladder after a diabolical season.
Ponga’s father Andre was instantly on the entrance foot when video emerged on Monday of Kalyn and Mann being kicked out of the identical cubicle.
Kalyn Ponga has discovered himself within the highlight, with the staff accused of treating him like a ‘protected species’
Ponga is seen (far left) being requested to go away a pub bathroom cubicle by safety alongside teammate Kurt Mann (out of image)
Since then, nonetheless, there have been so many combined messages from the Ponga camp, Newcastle and even the pub, that it’s arduous to maintain monitor on what the present model is.
‘He made an thrilling home buy Saturday and celebrated with a number of mates ingesting. Sick in the bathroom and his mate went in to assist him,’ Andre Ponga informed the Every day Telegraph on Monday.
That clarification has been closely scrutinised, with some onlookers questioning why the pair determined to take their drinks into the cubicle if Ponga was feeling unwell.
Kalyn Ponga (left) and Kurt Man (proper) have fun a attempt within the Knights’ spherical 15 loss towards the Raiders
Mann is seen exiting the bathroom cubicle first after being kicked out by resort safety
It’s now been claimed, Ponga was not actually drunk, and was solely on the pub for lower than half-hour – one thing which has been informed to the membership, who’re nonetheless finishing an investigation.
So what’s the REAL story?
We could by no means actually know, however what’s with out query is each Mann and Ponga have been out ingesting whereas injured – an enormous no-no at elite sporting golf equipment given alcohol impairs therapeutic.
Ponga has been placed on ice for the remainder of the yr after struggling his third concussion in six weeks in July, whereas Mann is recovering from a quad damage.
Kalyn Ponga (proper) out having a very good time with Knights teammates Tyson Frizell (centre) and Connor Watson (left)
Tigers star David Nofoaluma was dropped from first-grade after ingesting whereas sidelined with concussion earlier this yr – although the Knights have been at pains to level out they gave Ponga no particular instruction to abstain from alcohol.
High rugby league pundit James Hooper reported Mann could face a advantageous for ingesting whereas injured, however not Ponga; and he lashed the membership’s double requirements.
‘Is Ponga a protected species in Newcastle? As a result of that’s the way it seems,’ Hooper wrote on Fox Sports activities.
‘Knights utility Mann is anticipated to be fined for ingesting whereas being sidelined with a delicate tissue damage however the early suggestion out of Newcastle is Ponga could escape any type of punishment.’
Bradman Greatest (left, pictured with associate Amy Wooden eventually yr’s Dally M Medal) has been dropped by the membership for being late to the staff bus
The Knights axed backline stars Bradman Greatest and Enari Tuala for being late to the staff’s bus on Sunday morning after the Broncos loss.
The pair will now play reserve grade for being SIX minutes late.
Hooper wrote that it will be ‘a bit wealthy’ dropping Greatest and Tuala, however then ‘permitting Ponga to get a free go’.
Kalyn Ponga has produced some beautiful performances for Queensland however has been unable to constantly replicate the shape at membership degree
The actual fact Ponga is the skipper of the membership, and signed a monster $1.2million, five-year contract in April, has in fact positioned further strain on each the membership and Ponga.
The celebrity fullback is pretty much as good as any within the competitors on his day, however struggles to string collectively constant kind at membership degree regardless of an outstanding efficiency for the Maroons this yr.
He’s earned the popularity of being considerably injury-prone; although in fact the concussion points are out of his management.
It’s not giving Newcastle a lot worth for cash, and the membership’s tradition seems to be at it’s lowest ebb in years.
Kalyn Ponga gained’t play for the remainder of the season after struggling a sequence of concussions
Outcomes on the sphere aren’t going a lot better, both.
The Knights now have three video games left to complete the season on a excessive, and salvage what’s left of their popularity, with coach Adam O’Brien’s job probably on the road.
They’ll face the Raiders at dwelling this Sunday afternoon, earlier than taking over the Titans and Sharks over the past two rounds of the season.