NRL news 2022, Kalyn Ponga, Newcastle Knights, interview, video, loss to Melbourne Storm

Newcastle captain Kalyn Ponga has been criticised for an “embarrassing” interview immediately after his side’s dismal 50-2 loss to Melbourne.

The Knights fell to last on the NRL ladder after the game on Sunday, and have now gone two weeks without scoring a try – having lost 39-2 to Parramatta in round seven.

Ponga later admitted this is the worst form slump he’s experienced during his time at the club.

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The 24-year-old is acting as the sole captain of the team so far this season, with his co-skipper Jayden Brailey sidelined long-term with injury.

Last year Ponga was part of a leadership team in the Hunter, following the resignation of Mitchell Pearce from the captain’s chair as a result of his off-season cheating scandal.

Ponga is undoubtedly the best player in Newcastle’s squad, but his leadership credentials have never been a selling point. And he looked lost for words after the Knights were thumped by the Storm.

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Ponga was asked by Fox League what he planned to say to the team inside the dressing sheds.

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“Probably not much,” he replied, before adding; “I’ve done a fair bit of talking throughout the week… I don’t know, I’ll figure something out”.

That response was called out by rugby league legend Greg Alexander the following day.

“He said ‘not much’ and then he realised what he’d said… and then he realised that he’d put his foot in it,” Alexander told SEN Breakfast.

“I thought it was quite an embarrassing moment for a captain to be saying that.”

The Knights take on the Cowboys on Saturday.

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