NRL superstar Kalyn Ponga has been accused of being overpaid and giving Newcastle reason to doubt whether he’s fully committed to the club after he and a teammate were caught being thrown out of a pub toilet cubicle last weekend.
Footy journalist Paul Kent said the actual fact the fullback was drinking heavily with fellow Knight Kurt Mann while his team was playing shows he’s a part of the culture problem on the troubled team.
‘The proven fact that the captain of the club, who’s paid 1,000,000 dollars a 12 months has such little care factor that quite than sit at home and watch and see how they perform, he’s out on the sauce,’ Kent said on Fox’s NRL 360 program on Tuesday night
His comments were backed up by his fellow author David Riccio, who said the Knights have doubts about Ponga’s commitment to the side.
‘There is unquestionably an underlying sentiment inside the Newcastle Knights on whether Kalyn Ponga is 1000 per cent committed to this footy club,’ he said.
Ponga is seen being thrown out of the bathroom cubicle, drink in hand, at a pub last Saturday while his team were losing to Brisbane
The star fullback and his teammate Kurt Mann (pictured) have now been drug tested by the NRL because the scandal blew up on Monday
Riccio added that Newcastle are anxious concerning the fact Ponga turned in his best game of the 12 months for Queensland’s State of Origin side but hasn’t come near that level of play for his club.
Host Braith Anasta also jumped in, saying Newcastle are accountable for signing Ponga on an enormous five-year deal despite knowing he’s inconsistent on the sphere, and said the fullback ‘deadset won lotto’ when he landed his huge deal.
Meanwhile, NRL legend Paul Gallen is adamant Kalyn Ponga and Knights teammate Kurt Mann must be punished – even in the event that they produce clean drug tests.
It follows the star fullback – who’s on an annual salary of $1.2million – and utility Mann being chucked out of a Newcastle pub toilet cubicle on Saturday.
Speaking on 2GB’s Wide World of Sports radio, Gallen believes a heavy sanction from club management will send the suitable message.
‘You have the highest-profile player on the club (Ponga), and possibly the highest-paid player on the club not playing because he’s injured,’ the prize fighter boxer said.
‘You had one other player there who has a muscle strain (Mann) — they usually’re out on the drink. No wonder they’re going no good.’
NRL legend turned prizefight boxer Paul Gallen believes Knights stars Kalyn Ponga and Knights teammate Kurt Mann must be punished – even in the event that they produce clean drug tests
It follows the star fullback – who’s on an annual salary of $1.2million – and utility Mann (pictured) being chucked out of a Newcastle pub toilet cubicle on Saturday
Gallen, 41, added he ‘couldn’t care less what happened in the bathroom’ and that the footballers ‘could possibly be kissing for all I care’ amid speculation they were doing party drugs, which Each day Mail Australia isn’t implying.
Each Ponga and Mann were drug tested on Tuesday after the NRL integrity unit launched an investigation into the matter.
If the outcomes prove to be positive for illicit substances, it could be kept in house whether it is a primary offence for the footballers.
Nevertheless, a second strike would lead to a right away 12-week ban.
On Monday, newly appointed Knights football boss Peter Parr admitted the duo might not be stood down or fined.
‘We’ve not discussed any punishment yet because we do not know if there’s any punishment available,’ he said.
Ponga’s father Andre offered an innocent explanation for the saga, stating the teammates were within the cubicle together as a consequence of his son being sick
Gallen (pictured after winning the 2016 NRL Grand Final) also stated he ‘couldn’t care less what happened in the bathroom’ and that the footballers ‘could possibly be kissing for all I care’ amid speculation they were doing party drugs
‘We’ll run the method, work out exactly what’s happened or what hasn’t happened after which make some decisions there.
‘But we haven’t got to make decisions on that yet because the method hasn’t been finalised and, as I said, we do not even know whether punishment is crucial yet.’
Ponga’s father Andre offered an innocent explanation for the saga, telling News Corp the teammates were within the cubicle together as a consequence of his son being sick.
‘He (Kalyn) made an exciting house purchase on Saturday and celebrated with just a few mates drinking,’ he said.
‘(He was) sick in the bathroom and his mate (Mann) went in to assist him.’
Ponga, 24, won’t play for the Knights again this season due after suffering numerous concussions this 12 months.
It stays to be seen if he can be named in Australia’s World Cup squad while Mann is an outdoor likelihood to feature in Newcastle’s final game of the season versus Cronulla on September 4.