Interview: Nathan Brown on opposed sessions
In the last month, the nib Newcastle Knights have been out and about in the community to hold their opposed training sessions.
Coach Nathan Brown spoke to Knights TV about what they get out of the sessions and what they’ve been working on leading into upcoming trial games.
Brown admits at this time of year opposed sessions, which see thirteen versus thirteen, are a great benefit to all clubs.
“It’s about us building combinations because of so many new players in key positions,” added Brown.
“The opposed session is probably the nearest thing to playing as we get close to our first trial.”
Two weeks ago, the Knights headed to Central Charlestown for their first session before Toronto last week and Maitland on Thursday.
Brown maintains it’s been great to get out into the community and interact with fans to meet new players.
“It’s the school holidays, so it’s great because a lot of the local young kids can come down and watch,” he commented.
“We have been getting a huge turn up, a big number of younger kids with their parents.
“After the opposed is finished, the young kids get to go out on the field, get some pictures with their favourite players and mingle around.
“They get a first-hand look at our new players… a lot of people are keen to see Mitchell (Pearce), Connor (Watson) and Kalyn (Ponga).”
With a complete overhaul of the playing roster in 2018, the Knights coach said the sessions have been valuable to see new combinations at play.
“Probably this year more so than ever, we have seen a significant change in halves at clubs and there’s been a lot of halfback movement,” Brown told Knights TV.
“Kalyn is going to play fullback the first time for the Knights, Mitchell (Pearce) is going to play halfback for the first time, Connor is in and Brock (Lamb) is battling it out in his position.
“We brought in Slade Griffin to battle it out with Danny (Levi) at hooker so along with the Wests Tigers, we’ve probably got a significant number of changes.
“The best way to build combinations is doing some sort of opposed session, unless you’re playing, but you can’t play in too many trials because the opposition is hard enough as it is.”
The team will turn attention to trial matches on Wednesday February 7 against the Melbourne Storm and then back in Maitland on Saturday February 24.