TODAY |

Kiwis prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in hot water after flattening Kalyn Ponga with late shoulder charge

Luke Keary's chances of a State of Origin debut could be in tatters after being knocked out in the Sydney Roosters' shock 38-12 blowout loss to Newcastle.

Kalyn Ponga and Mitchell Pearce once again starred in a five-try romp to claim a fifth straight victory that will reverberate around the NRL.

Keary was momentarily prone after the back of his head bounced into the turf following a heavy Daniel Saifiti tackle in the eighth minute on Friday night.

It is the second time in five weeks the Roosters star suffered a concussion, in addition to two separate head knocks last year.

Even if picked by Blues coach Brad Fittler, Keary will likely sit out a large chunk of NSW's preparations.

"He's not in a great condition. I took your advice (Phil Gould), you don't pick it too early. He's feeling a headache, let's put it that way," Fittler said on the Nine Network.

"I think my biggest concern is his health at the moment. I'll take advice from doctors and medical staff.

"If he was going to be picked at five-eighth, there's a couple of handy replacements who are in good form."

Already without a rested Cooper Cronk, the defending premiers were left rudderless against the hottest team in the competition after Keary's early exit.

Not even a syndesmosis injury to Danny Levi dampened a Knights outfit that had the 25,929 McDonald Jones Stadium crowd rocking from start to finish.

Keary's attempted offload landed directly in the hands of Hymel Hunt for the game's first try, before James Tedesco hit back with a quick-tap four-pointer.

But that was as close as the Roosters got, with Ponga and Pearce setting up tries for each other in the space of four minutes for a 22-6 halftime lead.

It is the sixth straight match Ponga has crossed the stripe, and fifth for Pearce.

A Connor Watson try minutes into the second half all but ended any thoughts of a comeback, before Edrick Lee completed the rout late.

There was a flashpoint midway through the period when a heavy Jared Waerea- Hargreaves shot on Ponga ended in a head injury assessment and minor melee.

Ponga eventually returned to the bench but failed to re-enter the match.

The win lifts the Knights into fifth spot - the highest the club has been this deep into a season in six years - while the Roosters will remain third.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson, who played Latrell Mitchell at five-eighth, shouldered the blame for the loss.

"I know what's best for the team and it didn't come off tonight, so a big part of tonight, I've got to shoulder the responsibility for that," he said.

Knights coach Nathan Brown said while he discounted the win on Cronk's absence and Keary's injury, he was delighted with his side's defensive output.

"I thought our line speed and our ability to send their big men backwards at times over a period in the game I thought was great," he said.

"And we should get a lot of confidence out of it."


More From
NRL