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Coach's Say: Round 10

Coach's Say: Round 10

A lacklustre kicking game against the South Sydney Rabbitohs sees Nathan Brown confirm the return of Brock Lamb to first grade, amongst a host of other changes to the starting side.

He says he is hopeful that Lamb's impressive performance in Reserve Grade will be replicated in the Knights' Round 10 clash against the Penrith Panthers.

"Brock has had a couple of games Reserve Grade," stated Brown.

"He didn't play too badly, his last game he had three try assists and kicked the ball very well and his defence is improving. Kicking is one of the natural things that he does well and will be really important to our team.

"We're playing a very big Penrith side this week and kicking the ball is what makes the game easy for everyone."

Multiple changes to a line-up always raises eyebrows, however the inclusion of Luke Yates, Danny Levi and Josh King has been weeks in the making.

Brown is confident his move to build players' confidence in Reserve Grade is a good one; as evident with Lachlan Fitzgibbon's return to form last year after spending time in Reserve Grade.

"We had a couple of blokes knocking on the door for a while.

"Yatesy (Luke Yates) played in the last two wins we've had and wasn't in on the weekend so he'll come back in... Kingy (Josh King) has been 18th man for a number of weeks and has been in very good form in Reserve Grade so he's probably been unlucky not to play.

"Danny has had two games this year, one good and one steady. He was very good in Reserve Grade on the weekend so those guys have been rewarded for the form they are showing.

"Lachlan Fitzgibbon spent about eight weeks in Reserve Grade last year and when he got a chance he was more determined to keep it.

"They've all earnt their right to have a game and they're all blokes who have played games in the past two years and helped us win games and we feel they can certainly help the team."

An injury-affected Panthers roster has meant that back rower Isaac Yeo will play in the three jersey opposite Sione Mata'utia, whilst a mass of Panthers' will play out of position.

However, Brown is wary of the powerful Panthers pack, steered around the park by James Maloney.

"This week you look at their three back rowers who are very big men and very mobile. They've got a couple of Test front rowers, they have a number of injuries at the moment but they can still win games with their forward pack and James Maloney.

"To their credit, they probably started where we started two years ago... Gus built that Centre of Excellence and Penrith are providing a lot of new players to the game.

"James Maloney's form has been outstanding and he has probably taken on a bit more responsibility with young (Nathan) Cleary not there. Peach (Tyrone Peachey) adapts and I think the Panthers expect Maloney to do that job, he's a serial grand final player."