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Middle men impress in loss

nib Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown and co-captain Sione Mata'utia spoke to the media following Friday's loss at Allianz Stadium.

Despite the loss, Brown said he was impressed with his middle men.

“I thought our middles did a great job, considering the task ahead of them,” he said.

“With blokes like (Jared Waerea) Hargreaves starting and (Sio Siua) Taukeiaho and (Zane) Tetevano coming off the bench, are big men.

“The boys handed their middles really well and we got in the contest at 12-4."

The Knights coach maintained in key moments, his side struggled to come up with the right plays.

“The start to that second half, we had a good opportunity to score on that first set and whether it was the pass or the timing,” Brown explained.

“At that key moment, we let ourselves down and it was just disappointing.

“The Roosters jagged that lucky try, got to 16-4 and then we make the line break and none of our key players turn up again in a key moment of the game.

“Our halves and fullbacks should have turned up on those occasions.

“Credit to the Roosters in that first 10 minutes of the game, we did have three or four sets and we threw a bit at them but they’re a quality team.

“They are running second and their defence held really well and that probably caused us problems where we didn’t get through any good ball sets."

On his Club debut, Brown maintains Shaun Kenny-Dowall is on his way to being back to his best.

“I thought he had some really good stuff in there and a couple of things where he was a bit rusty which you’d expect because he hasn’t played for a few months and he’s playing with some new personnel,” explained Brown.

“He had a couple of carries when the pressure was on that got us out of trouble and he got us into position to make that line break.

“At 16-4 we were really under the pump and it was his carry that helped us get going and put us in the contest but that’s what he’s done for the Roosters for a long time.

“He does good things in key moments of the game so that was a real pleasing part of his game for us and the more of that we get, the closer we get to a win.”

In injury news, Chanel Mata'utia is recovering well and will now be monitored through the week as per usual concussion protocol.

“That was a bad concussion but nothing else which is great because it was a pretty bad one,” said Brown.

“Nothing broken or nothing bad which Chanel has had a bad run with injury so we all feared the worse there.”

Brother Sione Mata’utia while concerned, said he knew Chanel was in good hands.

“You don’t like to see it but with the help of the physio and the doctors, I know he was in great hands so I had no doubt he was going to be ok,” added Mata’utia.

Next up, the Knights take on the St George Illawarra Dragons back on home turf in Round 21.