Fair Dinkum Department: Does Luke Keary need a role change to turn Roosters back on?

Welcome to ‘The Fair Dinkum Department’, where we dissect the biggest debates to come out of the NRL’s latest weekend of action and assess whether it’s a case of ‘real’ or ‘ridiculous’ .

Here’s how we see things after the eighth round.

Luke Keary needs No 6 to turn the Roosters back on

True or ridiculous? Ridiculous

Some attributed the Roosters’ slow start to the season to the partnership of Luke Keary and Sam Walker on the pitch.

Keary barely played football last season, injured by an ACL, while Walker burst onto the scene in his absence and led the Roosters’ attack.

With Keary returning this season, there was great anticipation of how his partnership with Walker would lead the Roosters to another premiership, but so far it just hasn’t gone to plan. .

Keary seems burdened with the responsibility as the most experienced player to lead the team into the park with the No. 7 on his back, and there is a feeling emerging that until he can play with the freedom he used to play five eighths, their problems will continue.

But a change of role would be a band-aid solution and would do nothing to revive the attack.

MORE: What we learned from round eight

Keary has shown in the past that he is capable of being the go-to man on offense, such as in the 2018 Grand Final when he was forced to do most of the play with Cooper Cronk hampered by a shoulder injury and led the Roosters to victory. above the storm.

Keary, Walker and the Roosters in general just need time, and as they’ve shown in the past, all it would take is a decisive win to get them back on track.

Kalyn Ponga shouldn’t be Newcastle captain

True or ridiculous? Real

Kalyn Ponga is the face of the Knights, their No. 1 player and at the moment the only one who seems to have a real crack on the pitch.

However, off the field to address the Knights’ current issues, his leadership has been on deep display over the past two weeks, raising serious questions about whether or not he is ready for the added responsibilities that come with the job. captain.

Ponga was somewhat unexpectedly pushed into the role, as he usually shared duties with the injured Jayden Brailey. But his preparation for the role has come under the microscope, especially after some time following the Knights’ 50-2 loss to Melbourne on Sunday.

The 24-year-old was questioned about fox league how he addressed the players after the loss as captain, to which he replied: “Probably not much… I don’t know. I’ve talked a lot throughout the week but I don’t know. I’ll think of something.”

While that just as much indicates that the Knights as an organization are simply at a loss for answers, it wasn’t the type of message Knights fans would have wanted from their captain.

Don’t get me wrong: Ponga is an exceptional leader with his actions on the pitch. However, it is becoming clear amid Newcastle’s collapse in form that they lack the fundamental ability to deliver a message to players and fans at the struggling club.

Perhaps a player like Tyson Frizell or David Klemmer would be a more suitable option at this stage to allow Ponga to focus solely on his own form.

Karl Lawton’s tackle on Cameron Murray was not dispatch-worthy

True or ridiculous? Ridiculous

Phil Gould and Brad Fittler’s claims that Karl Lawton didn’t deserve to be sent off for his tackle on Cameron Murray are far from good.

Lawton will be out next month after a swinging tackle on the Rabbitohs captain saw the Sea Eagles striker slip away in a 40-22 loss.

Murray’s body was well beyond horizontal and the back of his head hit the turf before anything else, in what was one of the worst tackles seen in a long time.

The decision to eject Lawton was a no-brainer, but Gould and Fittler immediately made headlines after the game when they mocked the call.

“It’s a bit of a flip but to be sent off for that when there’s absolutely no injury to the other player, I find that extraordinary,” Gould said on Channel Nine.

“You want your primetime TV show to be 12 out of 13 now, if that’s your product, I give up.”

“I thought it could have been a lot worse and I really can’t believe Lawton is running past me on the sidelines,” Fittler added.

Sorry, but if it’s not a send, then they might as well remove the rule completely.

With the number of variables that come into play in the game today, it doesn’t take much for a shot like Lawton’s to become more severe and cause serious problems for the opposing player, as we have seen. with Alex McKinnon in 2014.

Karl Lawton Manly Sea Eagles

Rebecca R. Santistevan