Infotainment Factory: Alarming Pearce trend that's ruining Knights

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Monday, 22 July 2019

Alarming Pearce trend that's ruining Knights


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The old adage suggests that there is no "I" in team.

However, Newcastle Knights legend Andrew Johns thinks the typical sporting cliché doesn't necessarily hold true for his old side.

Speaking on Wide World of Sports' Sunday Footy Wrap following the Knights' heavy loss to the Roosters, Johns was blunt about the impact that NSW halfback Mitchell Pearce has on the entire team's performance, as he outlined a worrying trend that could spoil the club's finals aspirations.

"If you control Pearce and shut him down, you shut [down] the Knights," Johns said.

"They are getting nothing out of dummy-half (Danny Levi) and I don't think Kurt Mann is a five-eighth."

Doubling down, he criticised the team's defensive efforts, particularly up front.

"In the middle and late, their forwards looked very vulnerable," Johns said.

"Confidence has now left them, so they really need to find that again."

https://twitter.com/NRLKnights/status/1152483403020689408

Johns' comments came after Newcastle's 48-10 loss to the Roosters in Round 18 - their fourth defeat in five games.

"For the Knights to beat the top teams, they need Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga both to have nines (out of 10 performances)," Johns said.

"There's maybe a bit of a false economy at the moment."

https://twitter.com/harryramage/status/1153156339083825152?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Upon statistical inspection, there seems to be significant truth to Johns' words.

During the Knights' six-game winning streak through rounds 7-13, Pearce had five tries, 10 try assists, and 10 line-break assists. From a pure play-making perspective, those are elite and league-leading numbers.

However, through his last four appearances, he hasn't crossed the try-line, and has a total of three line-breaks and try assists combined.

Clearly, something has to give, and Pearce himself admitted that "the next four games" will decide his team's season.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B0LN8TwDYwZ/

With Newcastle currently in eighth place, the numbers suggest that Pearce needs to return to the form that demanded his recall to the NSW Origin outfit to get their finals ambitions back in order.

However, if their current losing streak continues and the Knights can't find their attacking groove, their mid-season hot streak may have been for nothing.

With only seven games left before the eight is set in stone, as Johns puts it, "there's a lot of work to be done."

NRL Round 19 is Beanie for Brain Cancer Round. Buy a beanie or donate at: https://markhughesfoundation.com.au/

The old adage suggests that there is no "I" in team.

However, Newcastle Knights legend Andrew Johns thinks the typical sporting cliché doesn't necessarily hold true for his old side.

Speaking on Wide World of Sports' Sunday Footy Wrap following the Knights' heavy loss to the Roosters, Johns was blunt about the impact that NSW halfback Mitchell Pearce has on the entire team's performance, as he outlined a worrying trend that could spoil the club's finals aspirations.

"If you control Pearce and shut him down, you shut [down] the Knights," Johns said.

"They are getting nothing out of dummy-half (Danny Levi) and I don't think Kurt Mann is a five-eighth."

Doubling down, he criticised the team's defensive efforts, particularly up front.

"In the middle and late, their forwards looked very vulnerable," Johns said.

"Confidence has now left them, so they really need to find that again."

https://twitter.com/NRLKnights/status/1152483403020689408

Johns' comments came after Newcastle's 48-10 loss to the Roosters in Round 18 - their fourth defeat in five games.

"For the Knights to beat the top teams, they need Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga both to have nines (out of 10 performances)," Johns said.

"There's maybe a bit of a false economy at the moment."

https://twitter.com/harryramage/status/1153156339083825152?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Upon statistical inspection, there seems to be significant truth to Johns' words.

During the Knights' six-game winning streak through rounds 7-13, Pearce had five tries, 10 try assists, and 10 line-break assists. From a pure play-making perspective, those are elite and league-leading numbers.

However, through his last four appearances, he hasn't crossed the try-line, and has a total of three line-breaks and try assists combined.

Clearly, something has to give, and Pearce himself admitted that "the next four games" will decide his team's season.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B0LN8TwDYwZ/

With Newcastle currently in eighth place, the numbers suggest that Pearce needs to return to the form that demanded his recall to the NSW Origin outfit to get their finals ambitions back in order.

However, if their current losing streak continues and the Knights can't find their attacking groove, their mid-season hot streak may have been for nothing.

With only seven games left before the eight is set in stone, as Johns puts it, "there's a lot of work to be done."

NRL Round 19 is Beanie for Brain Cancer Round. Buy a beanie or donate at: https://markhughesfoundation.com.au/

https://ift.tt/2JTU1ty
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