Dressing room spray proves Kalyn Ponga isn't the man to captain Knights

Kalyn Ponga and Jake Trbojevic, pictured here in very contrasting reactions to their side's losses.
Kalyn Ponga and Jake Trbojevic had very contrasting reactions to their side's losses. Image: Fox Sports

Two moments caught on camera over the weekend gave us a fascinating insight into what you want from your leader in a crisis or time of need.

Moments after the Knights had been crushed 50-2 by Melbourne in an abysmal showing in Newcastle, skipper Kalyn Ponga fronted up for a post-match interview and was asked what he'd say to his demoralised team.

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“Probably not much, I don’t know. I did a fair bit of talking throughout the week but I don’t know. I’ll think of something," Ponga gibbered.

He'll think of something. Great. All that was missing was the strawberry milkshake.

Contrast Ponga's lackadaisical response to Jake Trbojevic's passionate unload after the 12-man Sea Eagles went down to South Sydney on Friday night.

We all know Daly Cherry-Evans is Manly skipper but Trbojevic is a born leader.

He wasn't happy with his team getting close despite being a man down for most of the match.

Instead, he let loose to drive home the importance of each individual doing his job for the collective good.

He wanted to know if everyone was willing to buy in and go that extra mile.

He wasn't convinced they had against the Rabbitohs.

When Trbojevic speaks, people listen. When he acts, others follow.

His passion radiates. Losses cut deep. There's none of this smiling and laughing with the opposition after a defeat.

He is filthy until kick-off in the next game.

As famous NBA coach Pat Riley once said: "To have long term success in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way."

Kalyn Ponga, pictured here in action for Newcastle Knights.
Is Kalyn Ponga the man to lead the Newcastle Knights? (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Do the Knights have any other captaincy options?

Ponga doesn’t look obsessed about leading this Knights side.

He doesn’t appear to enjoy the responsibility and scrutiny that comes with the gig, especially during a winless run, and would rather be one of the players.

Ponga has enough on his plate without being burdened with the captaincy.

He's just become the highest-paid player in the club's history and the pressure to do it all and lift a team of modest performers is immense.

Coach Adam O'Brien doesn’t have many captaincy options at his disposal but David Klemmer and Tyson Frizell might be worth looking at, at least in co-captaincy roles.

Jayden Brailey, when he returns from injury, has leadership qualities and is worthy of consideration.

Something has to give before Newcastle's season disappears from view.

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