Mine coach's say: Round 14
The nib Newcastle Knights have a seven-day turnaround as they prepare for their clash with rivals the Manly Sea Eagles on Friday evening.
Coach Nathan Brown says there were some good lessons learnt after the team's loss to the Melbourne Storm last week, but Manly present a different challenge altogether.
“The players generally pick themselves up pretty well,” he said on Tuesday.
“They are all willing to learn and they all want to train hard.
“We have had a good turnaround, trained well yesterday and got a good session in today.”
The Knights coach knows Manly’s strength is in their attacking style of football.
“There is a lot of unloading of the ball, a lot of ball movement,” Brown explained.
“Martin Taupau, (Jake) Trbojevic and those blokes in the middle of the field are providing a lot of footy for (Daly) Cherry-Evans and Blake Green.
“Dylan Walker is having a great year and both of their wingers are having a super year, but a lot of it comes off the back of Martin Taupau.
“Trbojevic has been a terrific player ever since he came into first grade, since being rewarded with an Australian and Origin jumper.”
Brown believes one of the biggest goals for the Knights will be taking a fair share of the ball.
“If we can get a 50 per cent share of possession then that’s a good start,” stated Brown.
“The more possession we get the better we’re going to be with less tackling for us.”
The Knights coach admits former Knight Akuila Uate will be dangerous if he gets opportunities in broken field.
“It is good to see he is enjoying his footy,” said Brown.
“I think everyone would agree it is the best footy Choccy has played for a long time.
“Him and Jorge (Taufua) have both had great years which is a good indication of how Manly are going.”
Brown is confident the Knights will notch up a few more wins for the season, which will be helped by the inclusion of Jamie Buhrer further down the track.
“We certainly do lack any sort of experience in the team at the moment which puts on a lot of pressure," Brown said.
“Jamie’s boot is off and he is doing light training, so that’s great.
“I don’t know how long he’ll be away but certainly if he is out of the boot that is a lot better than where he was a week ago.
“This injury has to be taken a little more cautiously because if you do re-injure it then it’s the end of the year for him.”
Meanwhile Sam Mataora and Pauli Pauli, who are yet to get an NRL call up, are working on their consistency in reserve grade.
“For the first half of last year Sam (Mataora) was great,” he said.
“He missed a lot of pre-season this year, he had some personal matters to deal with, that set him back and he’s had a couple of injuries.
“Pauli Pauli has had an injury setback as well but Pauli and Sam both played well last week in Reserve Grade against a very good Warriors side so they’re certainly pushing their claims.
“Those guys will probably make the decision themselves when they’re going to get picked, they both have the talent, there is just some little areas of their game that they need to tidy up.”