By Peter Petterson
The rugby league season is virtually over – just the finals in NYC and NRL next Saturday; the final in the NSW Cup being played last Sunday, with Penrith defeating the Newcastle knights.
In my opinion, albeit being 2000 miles away, the Knights NYC team was the best in the club and even in the competition itself, even if the Minor Premiers didn’t go on to qualify for the finals. Injuries to key players in the last few games affected the outcome of these games.
Not only the injuries to the three players who were promoted to the NRL during the season, especially on defence at times, but there is also a belief from outside the team, that coaching changes also contributed to the defeats.
The free-flowing and positive attacking flair which was responsible for this team’s impressive record during the season, seemed to be replaced by a more negative defensive approach, even considering that finals football is traditionally more defensive anyway . Let’s consider the record of this team who won the Minor Premiership competition with 17 wins, 5 losses, and two draws. This is impressive in anybody’s language: team or competition.
But sadly all good things come to an end once the season finishes and players disperse. About half the team will still be eligible for NYC next season, and the other half for senior NSW Cup football. The three players who were promoted to the NRL during the season will also be used in 2015. A number of players have reportedly been offered or have accepted contracts to other clubs.
There were a number of younger players who performed creditably during the season who will go and mature next season. A couple of these were local schoolboys who were inducted into the NYC later in the season because of injuries to regular players. They have a great future with the Newcastle Knights. There are also a number of Kiwi born players who have contracts for coming years as well.
A number of players were also named in the Junior Kangaroo and kiwis train-on squads. Squads will be named for the Junior international to be played in October. Other players were also selected during the season for state representative games.
I have enjoyed watching games on television in which my grandson, Pride Petterson -Robati played in, and also reading newsletters on the Newcastle Knights website, and comments on the forum.. Overall, a most enjoyable season. Players will be back to pre-season training in October and it it starts all over again.