Ponga/Mann Incident Goes To Integrity Unit, Knights Defensive Duo Dropped

The Newcastle Knights are refusing to rush to any conclusions over the video circling social media of Kalyn Ponga and Kurt Mann being escorted out of a bathroom at the Delaney Hotel last weekend.

The video came to light on Monday of the captain and player being marched out of a toilet cubicle by a security guard.

Fronting the media today, Newcastle’s Director of Football Peter Parr confirmed the club was investigating through the appropriate channels and expects an outcome within the next few days.

“The integrity unit now is involved… they’ll run the process and we will support them in that,” Mr Parr said.

He would not be drawn on what he believed occurred in the cubicle.

The integrity unit will speak with the players and establish the facts before any decisions are made or disciplinary action doled out.

“We haven’t made any decisions on that yet because the process hasn’t been finalised and we don’t even know whether punishment is necessary,” Mr Parr said.

When pressed on whether or not Ponga would retain his club captaincy amid the investigation, Mr Parr said it was way too early to say.

The Knights admit the situation is not a good look for the club which has had a run of off-field drama recently as their season slid downhill, but management is taking a judicial approach.

“Just because it’s not a good look doesn’t straight away mean somebody has done anything wrong, so lets just let the process run its course and we’ll see what happens after that,” Mr Parr said.

Meantime, Knights duo Enari Tuala and Bradman Best have both been stood down from the squad’s round 23 game against the Raiders in relation to a separate matter.

The pair were apparently late for the team bus in Brisbane last Sunday morning following Newcastle’s 28-10 loss to the Broncos.

“We just believe that they didn’t meet the standards necessary, and so Adam [O’Brien] and I along with the other coaching staff thought that the best thing to do on this occasion was to stand them down this weekend,” Mr Parr said.

It’s far from the worst infraction a Knights player has made, but the new Director of Football’s recent arrival is ushering in changes to the club’s culture.

“If you’re not getting the smaller things right then you’re no hope of getting the bigger picture stuff right,” he said.

The team list for the Knights upcoming clash with the Raiders is expected to be released later this afternoon.

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