David Klemmer to the Knights – The Winners and Losers

The most anticipated move of this NRL offseason finally happened, with (former) Dogs prop David Klemmer making the move to join the Newcastle Knights on a five year, roughly $4.3M deal. Klemmer hasn’t made a secret of his desire to move on from the Dogs, but several factors needed to play out before he got his wish and subsequent huge pay day. One of those was that Canterbury weren’t about to just let the Australian and NSW forward walk away without a ready-made replacement to fill the void. They found that in Origin counterpart Dylan Napa, who dives head first into the vacated Dogs front row position from the reigning premiers for the next three seasons.

Not only does Klemmer make the Knights a far more formidable pack, but his mongrel and go forward will help those players around him, and that will lead to Supercoach points. Klemmer’s work rate will help to drive the ball up the field and set a platform that the halves can work off. What that means is more attacking opportunities; more scoring. With all the additions over the past two off-season’s, Newcastle are in a good spot to set themselves up for a boost across the board. Klemmer himself may not benefit greatly as far as SuperCoach goes (he already averaged 56 minutes and 58 points), but his arrival has the potential to give the Knights strike weapons a nice bump in scoring.

Winners

Kalyn Ponga

Kalyn Ponga will be the greatest benefactor. He’s already a star of the league, but Brown is now floating the idea of getting him into the #6 jersey beside Mitchell Pearce. It will see him getting his hands on the ball every set and won’t be a huge change as he was playing a sort of floating playmaking role last year from fullback. It will also mean he’s right in the thick of the action. He and Connor Watson will be glued to Klemmer’s hip on every hit up waiting for an offload. He doesn’t offload often (24 in 22 games), but when he did, he averaged 8 extra metres gained. And that was with Kieran Foran, Lachlan Lewis, JMK and Will Hopoate as the recipients. Pearce, Ponga and Watson are a bit of an improvement on that lot. Besides, more points scored equals more tries, try assists and goals for KP.

Rhyse Martin

Klemmer missed a total of two games last season: rounds 17 and 21. Rhyse Martin had scores of 153 and 87 in those games. That’s not too bad I suppose. It appears less forward competition is a good thing for him. Dylan Napa is coming in but doesn’t have nearly the same tank or impact as Klemmer. He’s more there as a defensive unit. And RFM will be returning to the lineup in the new year from his injury layoff but plays out wide. I don’t see how the returning players hinder Martin’s potential. He’ll be steeply priced but may be worth a play based on that very small sample size.

Losers

Canterbury Bulldogs

It’s hard to call the Dogs a winner on this one. Yes, they were going to lose Klemmer anyway, and yes, they managed to replace him with another rep prop, but it’s not the same is it. Unless you’re talking about missing Sam Thaiday, Napa paled in comparison to the man he’s replacing. He averaged 42 minutes and 31 Supercoach points a game, a far cry from Klemmer’s 56 and 58 respectively.

Knights Front Row

From an NRL standpoint, this is great for the young Knights pack. Klemmer is instantly a leader in the engine room for the kids to learn from. He was the #1 forward in the league for metres gained per game with 181, and 2nd only to Jason Taumalolo for post-contact metres (75). That latter mark was over 30 metres more a game than the Knights leader in the same category.

But from a SuperCoach perspective, Herman Ese’ese and the Saifiti Twins are now competing for minutes with DK, Tim Glasby and James Gavet, who just joined from Melbourne and New Zealand respectively. This might also have a flow on effect to the 2nd Rowers if Ese-ese shifts to lock for parts of the game. It’s created a log jam in the forwards that hasn’t been seen in Newcastle since the glory days.

Keep an eye out for a more in-depth analysis when the 2019 team previews start dropping in the new year.

Movember

One of the co-founders, Wenin Rome, has been growing a mo’ this month in support of Movember. If you’d like to make a donation to a great cause you can so by following this link.

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JJJonny
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JJJonny

Great write up as always Semi. As another knights tragic aswell I’m still not sure how I feel about us getting Klemmer. I know we needed a big robust front rower but I’m not sure Klemmer is it. I’m hoping he is and we have a even better season but it’s alot of money on a front rower. Personally I was really hoping we would go for Tapau with his offloads and Ponga and Watson speed look out. But I was also hoping we would have a go at SJ and Cook the would be a killer spine. Ponga at… Read more »

marmalade
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Hey lads! I see no-one has mentioned Tolman as a possible winner for Dog’s? He’s probably a ‘plodder’ by definition but he is capable of playing decent minutes. Only averaged 50 pts in 2018, ‘all in base’ however and had a few injury affected scores / low minute games. He averaged 58 past 3 years and might be a bit underpriced to start. Others on my radar are that will be ‘unders’ are Jack Bird, Wade Graham, Kurt Capewell, Matt Gillett, Tautau Moga and our new perennial ‘prick teaser’ Bryce Cartwright.

Tommy Smurf Sangsta
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Tommy Smurf Sangsta

Wade Graham and Moggs on the never again list for me. I’m nominating them for the Sidchrome Super Crock team.

Dravid
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Graham has to get over an ACL first… he won’t be sighted for quite a while

OnTheBus
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OnTheBus

Miggt need some aeroguard for The SC itch .
My opinion is knights will fall short of the top 8 , I think it might take half the season to gel together with all the new signings .
I have warriors raiders ahead of them and I have a feeling raiders letting go of the big boppers might work for them otherwise surely sticky gets the sack lol

Bring on 2019 I’m sure the fullback and halves positions will give us plenty of headaches again

BunnyAllStars
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BunnyAllStars

Thanks Semi… looking forward to the preseason chat and quality content

OnTheBus
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OnTheBus

Does anyone know when the player prices are out yet ?
I think last year it was the 4th Dec so should be close now

Madrooster
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Madrooster

They’re (The DT) are throwing a lot more at the BBL SuperCoach this year than in any previous year. Might delay all things NRL SuperCoach.

OnTheBus
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OnTheBus

You can add Kurt Mann to that list and I reckon Lomax will benefit from it as will jai field …..

Dravid
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Interesting reading Kearney re the vacant halves spot at the Warriors.

Has come out and said (barring going out and buying a half) one of the rookies will start.

OnTheBus
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OnTheBus

Yes he has also stated that papalii will be the no.13 ,might be a few warriors players to pick from next year

Defib
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Defib

Sangster et al hitting Twitter with Winners and Losers for 2019 and that prices will be out soon. If not today would expect sometime this week.

Who knows, we might even get early access again.

OnTheBus
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OnTheBus

does anyone know where the full player price list is ??

King4aday04
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King4aday04

Only a few leaked prices out so far for subscribers. Won’t be long until someone comes up with a rough magic number estimate.

King4aday04
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King4aday04

think it’s around $9,300- $9,400 per point.

King4aday04
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King4aday04

Which would make Cook valued at about $730K.

OnTheBus
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OnTheBus

those without subscription here are 10 players prices

oldfield 376,600
mcinness 561,800
gillett 432,900
morgan 409,200
roberts 433600
brimson 462,200
capewell 340,200
whitehead 457,700
stimson 352,900
tolman 471,400

OnTheBus
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OnTheBus

seems like a few around 9425-9450 too

Magpies4Eva007
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Magpies4Eva007

Wow! Whitehead will be a popular choice with dual 2R/CTR status and priced at just $457k.