Knights to swing the axe

Embarrassed, rock bottom and feeling sorry for their fans.

Newcastle expect coach Rick Stone to swing the axe at the selection table tomorrow.

Already pitched in a battle to avoid the wooden spoon, the Knights hit the lowest ebb of their NRL season on Saturday night when they were humiliated by South Sydney in a 10-try rout.

After the game Stone didn’t mince his words, questioning his players’ motivation and accusing some of lacking pride.

He hinted changes would be made to the team to take on the also out-of-form St George Illawarra on Saturday, saying he wanted players who were going to fight for the full 80 minutes and if they couldn’t he didn’t want them to play.

Veteran Beau Scott said the only thing left to play for was to avoid the wooden spoon in his final year in the Hunter and he expected Stone to come down on the playing group after their 52-6 humbling at the hands of Souths.

“(Changes to the side) is a decision for (Stone) to make and he’s come out and said that publicly now,” Scott said.

“It’s his place to pull individuals out and make them accountable.”

Asked if the club had reached rock bottom he said: “Yeah. It’s obviously disappointing to lose a game, but to lose it by that margin, it’s a bit of a kick in the teeth.”

Scott will join Parramatta next year after being granted a release from the final two years of his Knights contract on compassionate grounds.

The NSW and Australian forward said he didn’t want to leave the club in a poor standing and had added motivation to see them finish above last spot.

“I don’t want to leave here on a sour note and with the wooden spoon too,” Scott said.

“We need to pull together as a group of players and get on with the job and get some wins.”

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