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Elimination final player ratings: Newcastle Knights

Player ratings for the Newcastle Knights team in their Telstra Premiership elimination final clash with the Parramatta Eels and Browne Park, Rockhampton.

1. Kalyn Ponga: Always dangerous and great under the high ball all day. Set up the opening try very well and then a brilliant pass for Tuala's third try. Needed more help from those around him if the Knights were to win. 7

2. Enari Tuala: A superb display of finishing resulted in a hat-trick. Ponga set up two tries and a Clifford kick for another. A hobbled Blake Ferguson made his job a little easier. The major negative was giving away the penalty try which settled the match. 6

3. Kurt Mann: His usual hard-working and reliable self, but didn't pose much of a threat in attack. His right edge didn't have a great day in defence. 5

Ponga delivers just when the Knights need him

4. Bradman Best: Needed to outplay Eels centre Will Penisini. Didn't do that in the first half but had a better second 40 minutes. 5

5. Hymel Hunt: Did well to score his side's second try. Run metres weren't anything special. 5

6. Jake Clifford: Along with Ponga, a genuine threat to the Eels defence from the first minute to the last. A superb kick for a Tuala try. Looks set for a bright future in the Hunter. He was the dominant Knights' half. 7

7. Mitchell Pearce: Clearly outplayed by opposition No.7 Mitchell Moses, who was arguably best on ground. That drop from a kick-off when all the momentum was going Newcastle's way summed up his day. 4

Hunt dances his way over when he steps back inside

8. Jacob Saifiti: Had just four runs in his initial 21-minute effort. Didn't impose himself on the match at any stage. 4

9. Jayden Brailey: Made in excess of 50 tackles and ball distribution was good, but just one run for three metres meant the Eels were spared having to worry about darting runs from the ruck. 6.5

10: Daniel Saifiti: As ever, a Colossus in the middle of the field. The Knights' best middle forward by quite a distance. Every bit a Test prop. 7.5

11. Tyson Frizell: His day was in doubt inside 10 minutes after needing a HIA. Once he returned things didn't get a whole lot better. More was expected. 4

12. Mitchell Barnett: Put in a strong 80-minute shift. Powerful running and strong (and reliable) tackling are the trademarks of his value to the team. 7

14. Sauaso Sue: His usual aggressive game resulted in him being placed on report for twisting the leg of Blake Ferguson. Played limited minutes but didn't let anyone down. 5

Clifford places a kick perfectly for Tuala

Interchange

13. Connor Watson: Defended strongly and was industrious around the middle of the field but never a great threat with ball in hand. 5

15. David Klemmer: A bad miss in defence when Mitch Moses scored. Apart from that was more than serviceable without ever looking he was going to take the game by the scruff of the neck. 5

16. Josh King: Played limited minutes, but didn't let anyone down. Used to spell the big names and not a lot else. 4

17. Brodie Jones: An unhappy afternoon. Came on to replace Frizell while he was off for a HIA before requiring one of his own. Played just 13 minutes and had a solitary ball carry. 3

 

The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.

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