Coach's Say: Round 4

Coach Nathan Brown faced the media ahead of this Sunday’s clash against the Dragons for the Alex McKinnon Cup.

Brown admitted that the release of Dylan Phythian has been disappointing, but it will be a good opportunity for him to learn from his mistakes.

“These things are never good, when your player has been dismissed for whatever reason. In Phyth’s (Dylan Phythian) case, he is a good young kid who has made a couple of mistakes… and we hope that Phyth is going to learn from it.

“Dylan Phythian in my opinion is a good footballer and he is definitely going to be an NRL player if he has a bit of luck with injury and sorts a few social issues out.

Brown also added that although Phythian’s time at the Knights has been cut short, if he can rehabilitate himself and perform well there may be further opportunities at the Knights in the future.

“We’ve got a lot of faith in Phyth as a player and as a person. The next part of his career will be with another club, and then if he is doing really well… there’s always a door open if people are doing the right thing.”

The head coach also touched base on Connor Watson’s injury, stating that the young five-eighth will spend up to six weeks on the sideline.

“Connor is up to six weeks (on the sideline). With these types of injuries to the shoulder most clubs go down the rehabilitation path if they can at this point of the year. Hopefully it rehabilitates well…and he will be good for the rest of the season. “

Whilst there has been some talk about a lack of depth with no primary utility named in the squad this week, Brown is confident that second rower Jamie Buhrer is adaptable enough to play off the bench as a utility.

However, there is added pressure coming from Reserve Grade, with several players starting to find good form.

“Jamie Buhrer we feel can do a utility role... he had to fill in at the centres on the weekend and he has played in the centres for Manly in the past.

“In an ideal world Connor is that type of player or Sione when he was playing in the back row.

“As clubs we all have this issue from time to time when we lose a few bodies. We are confident JB (Jamie Buhrer) can fill in this role, and there’s also pressure coming from Reserve Grade, with Luke Yates looking good, Danny Levi has been very good, and Josh King is starting to find some form.”

Brown is also looking forward to seeing how his halves will go with Brock Lamb looking very promising off the bench in the opening rounds.

“Brock is a totally different type of player to Connor so we certainly need to look at what Brock’s skillset is and make little adaptions as a team (to compliment Brock).

“His first few weeks he when he has come off the bench he has been very good….Brock’s got a very nice skillset that can certainly add something different to our team.”