Disaster: Cruel news guts NRL team
BULLDOGS star Kieran Foran looks set for a lengthy stint on the sidelines, pulling up with an ankle injury after last weekend's clash against the Tigers.
The Bulldogs finally flexed their 2019 muscles in a stunning Campbelltown upset, downing the Tigers 22-8. Foran was a key figure in the Dogs' first win of the year, setting up two tries and playing a menacing role in the middle of the field.
But the Canterbury pack will have to look elsewhere for a savior in the halves, with early reports suggesting he will be out for up to three months.
21-year-old Jack Cogger looks set to fill the huge boots left behind by Foran, who was brought back to Sydney after a year at the Warriors in 2018.
CAREER OVER: KNIGHTS WINGER ROSS RETIRES
NRL star Nathan Ross has been forced to medically retire from the game after failing to recover from a brutal groin injury.
The 30-year-old winger, who made a late start to the NRL four years ago, was a crowd favourite but couldn't return to full fitness following off-season surgery.
He will be paid out for the length of his contract, which expires at the end of the 2020 season.
"He's been a fantastic ambassador for this club," Knights CEO Phillip Gardner said.
"It's a great pity that after fighting so hard to get to where he has, he has ended up not being able to play the game that he loves. His is a great story of fighting his way through the local ranks and being told he wouldn't make it before proving the doubters wrong."
"He was a coal miner who got his break older than most do and the community really identified with him as a character. We are very disappointed to lose him, particular to lose him to a career-ending injury. We obviously wish all the best for Nathan and his family."
PONGA THROWN BACK TO THE BACK
Talk swirled around the head of million dollar Knights recruit Kalyn Ponga after his abrupt move to five-eighth alongside Mitchell Pearce.
While the 20-year-old's ball handling skills and knack for the game has many already pronouncing him as a future great of the game, some believe his talents would be served better in the No. 1 jersey, at least early on in his career.
Former Footy Show host Daryl Brohman said we hadn't seen the best Ponga could offer in the Knights' first three weeks in 2019.
"He's such a valuable player but he hasn't shown it in these opening three rounds," Brohman said.
"I think he's doing too much defence at five-eighth and they can gang up on him a bit more,
"The big forwards can get at him, the outside backs can come in and get him, he's a target,"
"I think at fullback it gives him a little bit more freedom, and if I'm coaching him that's where he's playing for me, he's playing at fullback."
It was later revealed Newcastle got the hint. Speaking after the round, Ponga confirmed coach Nathan Brown had thrown him back to fullback for next week's clash.
"I'm going to the back. I obviously wanted to play well in (five-eighth) but I'll play anywhere. It'll change the dynamics a bit. If it works I might stay there and keep that position," the Knights star said ahead of the Knights vs Dragons "Game of Thrones" round.
REYNOLDS BACK IN THE MIX
Former State of Origin star Josh Reynolds has been forced behind the curtain after returning to Leichhardt, with legendary Tigers five eighth Benji Marshall and Luke Brooks filling out the playmakers' positions in the side.
But a hamstring injury to Marshall over the weekend could see Reynolds - who is currently playing for Western Suburbs in reserve grade - called up to the plate for a first grade comeback.
"He's a very experienced player. He's won Origin series', he's a first-grade player. He knows what's good out there," skipper Moses Mbye said on Tuesday.