Dragons v Roosters, Warriors v Titans, Storm v Rabbitohs, updates, latest news; Knights fume over Kalyn Ponga reports

Newcastle has hit out at commentators who criticised the club for playing superstar fullback Kalyn Ponga last week.

Ponga returned from a hip injury to take on the Bulldogs, but then injured a ligament in his foot and has since undergone surgery.

He will miss three months of football.

A number of commentators and former players questioned the Knights for picking Ponga, suggesting he was limping before the game.

The club’s football boss, Peter Parr, took aim at those critics in a press conference on Wednesday.

“Anybody who said that he shouldn’t have played is ill-informed,” Parr said.

“Kalyn trained all of last week, without any pain management. I actually witnessed him kick for goal for 30 minutes on Friday.

“He was never flagged as missing the game, he did everything required.

“I take some real offence that the club, and our medical staff in particular, would play a player that wasn’t fit to play – he was fit to play.

“And any assertion that his foot injury, on his right foot, had anything to do with his left hip is equally ill-informed.

“I feel for our medical staff and our coach with the assertion that we played him when he wasn’t fit to play… and that somehow there is some correlation between a contact injury to his right foot, to some pain in his left hip. We need to clear that up.

“Some of the people that have come out with some commentary around Kalyn – ex footballers – also played with painful injuries at times as well. I don’t know how suddenly they’ve become medical experts.”

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