Scans on Saturday look set to determine NSW back-rower Beau Scott’s State of Origin III chances after injuring his shoulder in Newcastle’s 44-22 NRL loss to Brisbane.
However, it was clear what Broncos coach Wayne Bennett thought of former club Newcastle in a comment sure to rile the wounded Knights.
Scott left the field 15 minutes into ladder-leading Brisbane’s eight-tries-to-four drubbing of Newcastle at Suncorp Stadium and didn’t return.
He will cause some anxious moments for NSW coach Laurie Daley who names his side early next week for the July 8 Origin decider in Brisbane.
Newcastle also lost lock Robbie Rochow soon after (broken arm).
It further depleted an injury-hit Knights also without Jarrod Mullen (foot), Kade Snowden (ban), Jeremy Smith (sternum), Chris Houston (finger), Jack Stockwell (biceps) and David Fa’alogo (hamstring).
Mullen – who had missed the previous six games – flew up with the team but failed a pre-match fitness test in Brisbane.
The Knights fought bravely but still lost their fifth straight match – and 10th from their past 11 games.
Former Knights coach Bennett appeared relieved that he had pulled the right rein and returned this season to coach Brisbane.
Asked if he felt for Newcastle, seven-time premiership winning coach Bennett said: “I’m pleased I’m not there.”
However he added: “Every club has their moments … you’ve just got to go out there and play with a bit of spirit, and they did that.
“They’ve had a pretty dismal season now since their start, but they’re hanging in there and they tried and, as a coach, that’s what you’re looking for.”
Knights coach Rick Stone agreed when Newcastle fought back from 20-0 down after 28 minutes to twice be within four points of the rampant hosts.
“The effort was great, there’s no doubt about it, considering we lost our two back-rowers in the first 20 minutes, which didn’t make things easier,” Stone said.
“We had a fairly young bench … so we had to try and manage that.
“We made plenty of errors still, which made it tough for us.
“Five errors in a row at 20-nil – it’s a tough place to come back from.”