Young Knights impress against Raiders
nib Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown and captain Sione Mata'utia spoke to the media following the Club's win over the Canberra Raiders.
“To get a good win at home against a good opposition, I’m really happy for everyone, the fans, the players and everyone involved,” said Brown.
“The period before half time was better than most weeks and just after half time they got a quick try on us but we had the ability to get back into the contest and build some pressure on the score board.”
The Knights coach had praise for his young halves.
“People don’t take into account Brock Lamb’s age and inexperience,” Brown admitted.
“Today he put in an 80-minute performance where he got a good all-round performance, in attack and defence he was very solid against big quality players.
“I thought Jaelen (Feeney) played a good controlled game and he helped us to execute what we wanted to do and he added a bit of pace in and around our ruck area.
“The players have got faith and confidence in them and hopefully they continue to work on their game.”
Brown also praised young forward Daniel Saifiti.
“He was sensational and that is what I expect from Daniel,” added Brown.
“He had a slower start to the season but has got better and better.
“What he did today was that of a person that has a big future ahead of him if he gets everything right."
It was the first win for Sione Mata’utia as Knights captain. The 20-year-old maintains the Knights always had the belief.
“The boys turn up every week and they come to training always willing to learn and always eager to do better,” he said.
“It was just the minor things we needed to execute properly to get us over the line.
“We seem to play well against the Raiders, the last couple of games we played against them we had some really close games.”
Of the youngest Mata’utia brother, Brown admits his expectations are high and today he delivered.
“Expectations of Sione are quite high, he probably achieved a lot at a very young age, he’s nearly 60 games in now,” Brown said.
The Knights coach was also pleased with the contribution of Tyler Randell and Lachlan Fitzgibbon, who both played their first NRL match of the year.
“Tyler’s stint was nice and tidy, he kept the flow of the game going really well for us which was great,” commented Brown.
“Hopefully we get some more time out of him, and Lachlan was outstanding... he did his knee in the first 15 minutes but he toughed it out and stayed on the field.
“It is really important to get the wins and see the reward, there is a lot of good stuff happening at training.
“We have just come off the bye into some really good training and into a win, if we can get the same growth this year we should see some more wins tick over.”
Brown said he also spoke to his player’s pre-game about the importance of the Indigenous Round.
“It is important not only to the Indigenous people but all people,” he said.
“It is the only sport that culturally brings the whole nation together which is a great asset.”
The Knights are back on home turf in Round 11, hosting the Penrith Panthers on Sunday.