Coach's Say: Round 6
After a big victory at home, nib Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown is looking ahead to the Round 6 clash against reigning premiers the Melbourne Storm for the short turnaround Friday night.
The Storm are in unusual territory, with only two wins from five so far this season, but despite being below the Knights on the NRL ladder, Brown can’t deny they’re still one of the competition’s top sides.
“I don’t think anyone is going to be too critical of how the Storm are going,” Brown following training on Tuesday morning.
“The Wests Tigers, who beat the Storm, had a great start, they’ve won a number of games on commitment and effort and they’ve found a remarkable way to win games.
“I can’t remember the same team beating the Storm in such a short period of time, but it also shows the Storm’s resilience to be able to hang there with them.”
The Knights coach knows if they arrive in Melbourne with the confidence to get the results, it can definitely pay off.
“It's certainly a place where plenty of sides have gone down there not expecting to do well because of their reputation and we’ve got to go down there with some belief,” he explained.
“Hopefully the game the other day will be a real growth factor for our younger players because it was definitely the hardest game any one of them has ever played in."
Brown maintains they need to consistently play a solid 80 minutes of football, which the Storm have been able to do for so long.
“NRL is tough and in a good team like the Melbourne Storm, it’s still tough,” Brown commented.
“Our younger players have got some good experienced campaigners around them and having some people in key positions who have a lot of experience, is ideal.
Slade Griffin is now working with Danny (Levi) and he comes from the Storm and he probably knows them better than anyone.
“The younger boys are getting a lot out of Slade and Aidan Guerra and those types of blokes, and they see this as the type of effort you’ve got to put in if you want to win at their level.
“We’re certainly not getting carried away with where we are because it’s a long year and it’s a tough road for everyone.”
Brown admits there’s several young players in Reserve Grade who are nipping at the heels of NRL players.
“We’ve got a few blokes that are pushing and he certainly deserves another chance while Josh King is starting to find his way again,” Brown added.
“Yatesy (Luke Yates) is always playing well, his game doesn’t change no matter where he’s at so we’re starting to get a few blokes from down below to put a bit of pressure on.
“Jacob gives us some really good size because they have some pretty big blokes down there and they’re a big powerful team.”