‘Hard to watch’: Joey blasts Knights after woeful loss

Newcastle legend and coaching consultant Andrew Johns has slammed the Knights’ performance against the Eels on Friday night, declaring their defence so bad that Parramatta could have piled on “70 or 80 points”.

The rugby league Immortal also said his beloved Knights “showed no fight”, after they crashed to a 43-12 defeat to the Eels at CommBank Stadium.

“I actually watched the game back,” Johns said on Nine’s The Sunday Footy Show.

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“Parramatta should have scored another five tries, they bombed certain tries, so the score could have been 70 or 80.

“Just off the pace, so off the pace it’s not funny. Disappointing.

“They’ve really competed hard this year.

“Some of the simple missed tackles … It’s just hard to watch. Just letting them run through.

“Showed zero fight.”

The statistics make for alarming reading for Knights supporters, with Newcastle conceding 13 linebreaks and missing 61 tackles.

Parramatta skipper Clint Gutherson feasted on the misfiring side, bagging a hat-trick, churning out 192 run metres and making two linebreaks.

The Knights’ performance stood in stark contrast to recent games, which had seen them draw with the Sea Eagles, lose to the mighty Panthers by only one point and put up a tremendous fight against the Cowboys in Townsville.

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Melbourne great Billy Slater was bewildered.

“One thing they have shown over the last month is plenty of fight. The floodgates just opened on them (on Friday night),” Slater told The Sunday Footy Show.

“Missed tackles, their edges were torn to bits, left and right, and Parramatta were in a mood.

“They took advantage of the lack of desire in Newcastle’s defensive line and that’s why we see this score.”

The Knights are scheduled for a bye in round 10, before facing the Titans in Newcastle on Sunday, May 14.

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