Feared in the 2000s and now at the league’s nadir in the 2010s, the Newcastle story is definitely one of ups and downs. Founded in 1987 as an expansion to the NSWRL, Newcastle were early successes, taking their first premiership in 1997 during the ARL/Super League split. Andrew Johns led the team to a second premiership in the united competition in 2001.
The wheels of the club came off not long after his retirement. A string of scandals followed. In 2011, the Knights were bought by Nathan Tinkler whose subsequent bankruptcy pushed the team into NRL ownership. Since then, the team has consistently underperformed. Their 2016 season, where Newcastle finished with just one win, one draw and the wooden spoon, was the only time in the NRL’s history that a team has finished with fewer than three wins. This season is not going much better for them. While I don’t claim to be a Knights fan, it is difficult not to feel for the loyal fans who haven’t got much to look forward to.
Using the Eratosthenes system, we measure the long term class – their structural competence – of NRL clubs.
The Newcastle Knights’ current rating is 1344. Newcastle have had an average class rating of 1512 since 1998. This is the sixth best in the NRL, after Brisbane, Canterbury, Melbourne, St George Illawarra and Sydney City. Over the last decade, their average rating has been 1475, below the average rating of 1500 and tenth best in the NRL.
The Knights achieved a maximum rating of 1640, after round 14, 2002, which is higher than all but six other teams (Brisbane, Canterbury, Melbourne, Parramatta, St George Illawarra and Sydney). After the semi-final in 2013, Newcastle were rated 1529, the highest in the last ten years.
Newcastle’s lowest ever rating was 1344, suffered as recently as round 9, 2017. This is the third lowest of any club in the league, only better than post-merger Wests Tigers and Souths in 2005.
- Premierships – 1 | 2001
- Runners-up – 0
- Minor Premierships – 0
- Finalist – 10 | 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2013
- Wooden Spoons – 3 | 2005, 2015, 2016
Record (rd1/1998 – rd9/2017)
- Games 502
- Wins 231 (46.0%)
- Draws 6
- Points For 10,632
- Points Against 11,260
- Net F/A -628
- Pythagorean expectation 47.3%
Using the Archimedes system, we measure the short term form of NRL clubs.
Newcastle have averaged a form rating of 1309 over the last 26 rounds. Their current rating is 1313.
The Knights highest rating was 1500 at the start of the 2017 season. Note that under the Archimedes system, all teams are given a 1500 rating at the start of the season.
The lowest Newcastle have been rated was 1145, which occurred at the end of the 2016 season. This was the lowest end of season rating for any team in this system.
Record (last 26 rounds)
- Finished 2016 in 16th
- Games 24
- Wins 1 (4.2%)
- Draws 0
- Points For 311
- Points Against 729
- Net F/A -418
- Pythagorean expectation 16.5%
We use the Stocky to predict what might happen in the season ahead. This is what the Stocky has predicted for the Newcastle Knights so far in the 2017 season.