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Sport: Knights coach dismisses claims of Kalyn Ponga contract withdrawal

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The Newcastle Knights may have suffered a fourth consecutive loss on Sunday afternoon, but the focus post-match was again on the uncertain future of star fullback Kalyn Ponga.

  Knights coach dismisses claims of Kalyn Ponga contract withdrawal © Provided by Sporting News

In a report released on the same day by the Daily Telegraph, it was claimed that the Knights had pulled an extension offer for the 24-year-old, opening space instead to sign Melbourne Storm player Cameron Munster.

This is the latest twist in an ongoing saga, with Ponga previously spotted having lunch with Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett, leading to a barrage of questions in last week's press conference regarding a potential move to Redcliffe in 2023.

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Knights coach Adam O'Brien was immediately asked for his thoughts on the reported contract withdrawal following his side's 21-16 loss to the Dragons.

"Ridiculous. I had breakfast this morning and we were signing Munster [according to the media]," O'Brien said.

"I can't keep up with you guys, fair dinkum.

"I think [Ponga] showed tonight why he is worth the wait.

"I think his performance tonight showed how committed he is to this team, and we are committed to him too.

"[Both parties] are still going through their processes ... things are tracking along.

"Certainly the way [Ponga] played tonight shows his focus has been on the team."

Ponga gave similarly rigid responses, emphasising that he wants to go about any negotiations privately.

"I know what I'm sort of feeling, but that's between me and my management," Ponga said.

"I know you guys want to know what I'm doing.

"But like I respect you, I hope you guys respect that I want to make this decision on my terms ... so that's what I'm going to do."

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