Year In Review 2017: Newcastle Knights

2017 was a year that the Newcastle Knights want to forget. The Knights got another wooden spoon for the third year in a row. This was possibly due to the fact that on paper the Knights team just didn't look as promising or strong as most of the other teams. Having lost two senior players even before the season started in Hooker Rory Kostjasyn due to a training accident forcing him to retire and Jarrod Mullen who was found to be taking performance enhancing drugs leading him to be released from the club, combined with an almost season long slump for Halfback Trent Hodkinson did not help their cause.

However in saying that, the Knights didn't play as bad as everyone thought they did. Of their nineteen Losses this past season ten of those were decided by 10 points or less, with five of those games decided by 6 points or less. Three of the teams four wins all season came within the final six rounds of the comp. If only they found this form a little sooner who knows what could have happened.

But there have been some great things to take away from this past season with one of the major ones being the growth in their youth. The Knights had one of the youngest teams on the field last season and with a full season to grow, players like Mitch Barnett,  Brock Lamb, both Daniel and Jacob Saifiti, Sam Stone and Luke Yates have really shown what they can be capable of and look to come out firing in 2018.

The Knights have been one of the most aggressive teams when it came to recruitment for the 2018 season having spent a good chunk of their Cap in upgrading a lot of positions and adding experience to go along with all their youth.

Some of the more notable players that have been brought in are;

Mitchell Pearce (Roosters)
Tautau Moga (Broncos)
Herman Ese'ese (Broncos)
Kalyn Ponga (Cowboys)
Aidan Guerra (Roosters)
Connor Watson (Roosters)
Slade Griffin (Storm)

With also reports being that they still have a good portion of cap left so keep an eye out as the Knights could be targeting a few more options. With all the signings that the Knights have brought in for next season the Knights should look to jump up the ladder maybe even making the Top 8 depending on how fast it takes them to gel as a unit.

My prediction? 8th-10th

I'm sure that I am not the only League fan wanting to see the Knights do something special and hopefully 2018 they can do just that.



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