• Will Cashmore

The Set Of Six: NRL Mediocre Players – Newcastle Knights

Updated: Nov 11, 2020

Does the hint make sense?

Triple N – Novocastrian Newcastle Nnights

Ok obviously I have cheated slightly, but this spiced things up so deal with it you grammar hounds.

Oh boy have the Knights sucked so hard recently.

There have been seasons where you could chuck practically the entire squad into a SET OF SIX devoted to mediocre players. The dumpster fire of the league for much of the late 2010s, Newcastle struggled for any real relevance outside of the wooden spoon conversation.

As a result, my task to name an appropriate SET OF SIX has not been easy.

The pride and joy of Newcastle has produced some truly stinkers or snoozefests of footballers, and it is my job to bring them to you.

Dan Tolar (2004-2011) – 101 Games, 5 Tries

It’s awfully game of me to begin a SET OF SIX, with a player that was so meat and potatoes as Dan Tolar. Nonetheless, here it goes. Please don’t stop reading.

The fiery redhead Prop had an NRL tenure which was quieter than a church mouse. His one career highlight, would have to be when he skippered the Knights in a 2010 match, as reward for his long service at the club. When you look at the team Newcastle had that day, something tells me the coach played eenie meenie miney mo with Tolar and Wes Naiqama for the ‘prestigious’ honour.

Also, Tolar was a part of the 2005 Knights side, which has long been labelled one of the worst NRL teams in history. The Novocastrians won 8 games on the way to a wooden spoon. Jesus Christ it feels like forever since a team could win a wooden spoon after as many as 8 victories.

Ok everyone wake up, Dan Tolar is done.

Jaelen Feeney (2016-2017) – 13 Games, 1 Try

Speaking of the worst teams in NRL history, we now focus on a halfback (if you can call him that) who played for the Barcelona looking boys during the dog days of 2016-2017.

And speaking of wooden spoons, this bloke won two.

Jaelen Feeney was a product on the famous Keebra Park High School, on the Gold Coast. It would be interesting to one day see a ranking list of KPHS talents in the NRL, from best to worst. If Payne Haas and David Fifita are morals for the top spots, then Jaelen Feeney would have to be close to bottom.

He promised flash, but could never fire a shot. The backline utility managed only two wins in his NRL career.

Please enjoy this video of Jaelen Feeney acting as a crash tackle dummy for Konrad Hurrell, in a real symbolic representation of his failed career.

Joe Wardle (2017) – 17 Games, 4 Tries

Well I’ve come this far, I might as well keep going.

Shit English Super League Import Mode: Activate!!!!!!

Gosh darn wasn’t Joe Wardle an exciting NRL player, said no one ever. Another trooper to experience a wooden spoon season in Newcastle, Wardle must have been considering all of his life choices once stepping foot into the joint.

This is not to say he was anything special, in fact it’s quite appropriate he went to Newcastle of all teams in of all years. He was the wooden spoon of English Super League imports.

But I mean brother come on, give yourself a chance. If you want to test yourself against the big boys down under, maybe don’t go to a club in the midst of turmoil. Just a suggestion for next time.

As if there will be a next time.

Jake Mamo (2014-2016) – 29 Games, 11 Tries

Next is the man that Joe Wardle swapped spots with.

Jake Mamo was a feisty little leprechaun in his day.

Never one to shy away from a scrap, Mamo just always seemed angry when he was out on the field.

He took white line fever to the next level. Not in a good way either. His take on white line fever was one that didn’t really make fans go “WOAH JAKE MAMO IS A BEAST”, but more like “Woah Jake Mamo is a f**ing pain in the arse isn’t he”.

Never has the line “take a chill pill bro” applied more to a footballer, then with Jake Mamo.

I think I speak for all Newcastle fans, in saying that no one really misses him and hope he stays in the Super League.

Siuatonga Likiliki (2011) – 2 Games

All aboard the Likiliki express.

Try saying Siuatonga Likiliki 10 times fast without error. Go on have a go, it’s tough but it can be done.

Likiliki didn’t have much success on the NRL field. A long sneeze lasted longer than his career, but he still made good on his nickname ‘Tonga’, and represented his beloved Mate Ma'a on three occasions. Most surprisingly, two of these came after he played his final NRL Games.

Siuatonga’s proudest achievement, would be when he scored two tries in a 2013 grudge Test Match against arch rivals Samoa. Later in the year he made an appearance at the World Cup.

Look it isn’t the most exciting career, but well worthy of mediocre enshrinement.

Gehemat Shibasaki (2020-) – 11 Games, 5 Tries<