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"Just give it time": Brown's faith in Ponga

Team fullback or team five-eighth?

Kalyn Ponga’s switch to the halves this season has created a bit of a divide.

A quiet performance at last week’s all-star match in the halves saw some calling for the teenage superstar to be put back into the no. 1.

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But nib Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown has defended and backed the direct switch with Connor Watson to fullback, all the way.

He’s adamant the 20-year-old just needs a bit more time in his new role.

“Just give it a little bit of time,” said Brown.

“The reality is, people aren’t wrong that he is great at fullback and people aren’t wrong that he is going to be great at five-eighth.

“He just stands in a different position, he’s not going to play any different.”

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A good example, his stellar debut for Queensland in State of Origin last year.

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“He played lock for Queensland and he never played lock and all the experts were saying it was the greatest debut ever,” Brown added.

“The experts said that, I didn’t say that.

And his encounter with the Penrith Panthers.

“He played five-eighth against Penrith who finished reasonably high on the ladder on one foot and he played pretty good.”

Brown argued his performance in the all-stars clash was just from lack of time with his fellow teammates.

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“The people that played with him have never played with before and don’t know how he plays,” explained Brown.

“He played in the halves with another five-eighth fullback, rather than a halfback, so you can’t go on those types of games.

“It will run its course I’m sure.”