Veteran NRL reporter launches vicious spray at rival journalists after being roasted for controversial Kalyn Ponga story – as Knights star’s dad insults him at press conference
- News Corp Dean Ritchie has hit back at fellow journalists who criticised him
- In a scathing comment piece, Ritchie said some reporters only ‘rubbish stories’
- Followed Ritchie being widely panned for coverage on Kalyn Ponga’s contract
A veteran NRL reporter has called out fellow journalists who he believes ‘make a living out of rubbishing stories’ and ‘swallow fabricated lines clubs sell them’ after he was widely panned for his coverage of Knights superstar Kalyn Ponga.
News Corp’s Dean ‘Bulldog’ Ritchie, who has covered rugby league for more than three decades, reported on Sunday afternoon that Newcastle had sensationally pulled their contract offer for the star fullback.
It came after club figures – believed to be CEO Phil Gardner and General Manager of Football Danny Buderus – were said to be tired of the fullback’s father Andre Ponga and his attempts to control the situation.
On Wednesday, Ponga, 24, confirmed he will remain at the Knights until 2027 after agreeing to a new deal – and Ritchie didn’t hold back in his assessment of the saga.
‘Kalyn Ponga is staying at the Knights, the circus is over,’ he wrote in a blunt opinion piece on Thursday.
Kalyn Ponga (pictured second from the right) has agreed to a new deal with the Knights
Veteran reporter Dean Ritchie labelled the Ponga contract situation a ‘circus’ and called out the Knights for kowtowing to the demands of Andre Ponga
‘A father-son NRL management team – particularly if the son is a superstar – can be high-risk and hazardous.
‘Newcastle went into damage control this week and they brought it all on themselves. (When) you hand over too much power to the father – just so the son re-signs – and it never ends well.’
A clearly aggrieved Ritchie wasn’t finished yet.
He was aware plenty of journalists from other publications questioned the accuracy of his reported development last Sunday from a ‘high placed source.’
Ritchie recommended they follow his lead when chasing yarns and ‘dig for the truth.’
Andre Ponga singled out Ritchie in the press conference, labelling him ‘Dennis’ and ‘Bullfrog’ before suggesting the leading reporter was out of line following his stinging criticism in recent days.
‘Unfortunately I cannot speak for who is it…Dennis The Bullfrog Ritchie? You know, he takes control of that himself,’ he said.
‘I think when someone does something that’s not honourable on such a happy occasion as this, that person has to be accountable for that.’
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