Despite a disappointing loss to the Gold Coast Titans in Round 1, coach Nathan Brown has praised the efforts of the Newcastle Knights' debutants who performed strongly in their first match on the NRL stage.
David Bhana, Daniel and Jacob Saifiti, Jaelen Feeney and Pat Mata’utia played their maiden first grade game in club colours on Sunday evening.
Brown said in the post match press conference promoting the Knights’ talented youth is important to building a strong future for the Club.
“We had a lot of debutants today and I’d say there will more in the next seven or eight weeks,” he said.
“The good thing is we’re putting kids in who can have long term futures for the Club."
While their induction into the NRL was a challenging one, Brown is confident the learning experience was incredibly valuable for the young players.
“All of them will see some real positive things and all of them will see some things I think they can do better,” he said.
“That’s what you have to expect from younger kids.”
The Knights did not manage a win over the Titans, but Brown said the major positive of the game was the lesson it taught the side’s youngsters and experienced heads alike.
“The key is these younger guys understand what it takes to win a game of footy,” he said.
“If they keep putting the effort in and competing hard and can improve along the way and understand the process of how we win, that will be important.
"As a whole there are some good positives to move forward with. We just have to make sure we learned our lesson.
"The keys is the younger players you bring in, can they be long term and can they take the Club forward.”