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Ponga, Klemmer unlikely to miss any matches: O'Brien

Knights coach Adam O'Brien hopes to have the services of both David Klemmer and Kalyn Ponga for next Friday's match against the Roosters.

O'Brien lost his star players in the first half to concussion, with neither able to return in the second while the Knights were pummelled by competition leaders Melbourne Storm 48-4 at Cbus Stadium.

Ponga had just passed the ball to his right when he turned and immediately hit the shoulder of Storm prop Tui Kamikamica.

The Queensland fullback played on but then the Knights trainer stopped play and took Ponga to the sheds for an HIA.

Both he and Klemmer will need to pass concussion protocols this week.

"They're both good, I just spoke to them then," O'Brien said at the post-match press conference.

It seemed like the contact was accidental but O'Brien wasn't so sure.

"Kalyn in particular is disappointed. He's fine. It wasn't on report or a penalty so he's disappointed but it is what it is and we'll get on with it.

"It wasn't the reason why we put that performance in."

Match Highlights: Storm v Knights

The Knights let in five unanswered tries in the first half. They scored themselves in the 56th minute through winger Dominic Young but the Storm piled on another three tries in the second half.

"Tough night at the office; tough week and we took that into the contest clearly tonight," O'Brien said.

"We haven't handled the week like we should have and that lays with me. We trained light and we started that way tonight."

The trip up to their new base on the Sunshine Coast, due to the COVID relocations, meant the Knights trained on the day they usually had off.

"When you do something different [in routine] it's fraught with danger. We also had a couple of things go against us during the week in terms of Daniel [Saifiti] and Mitchell [Pearce] didn't get up for the game," O'Brien said.

"We also didn't handle a couple of things in the game as well, obviously with Kalyn and Klem not participating in much of the contest.

"That's a reflection of the week and that starts with me. I've got to get them into a rhythm and a routine now that we're up in our camp. It's in our preparation I feel."


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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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