There’s been no shortage of interest in our boys this week.
After their second trial match against Cronulla, the nib Newcastle Knights attracted plenty of media attention and we’ve pulled together some of the best in case you missed any of the news.
It was the final hit out before the season opener.
So, when the Knights fumbled to the Sharks 30-6 at Maitland, there was some cause for concern.
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Social media went into overdrive about how the red and blue could turn it around in Round 1.
But head coach Nathan Brown, despite being disappointed with his side’s form, isn’t sweating it about their first season encounter… which happens to be the Sharks yet again.
“Trial is a trial for a reason,” Brown told the ABC.
‘Hopefully we can get one or two good lessons out of it and move forward.”
The Knights first trial against the Dragons was met with much more positivity.
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Despite an eight-point loss, there were glimpses of an exciting new Knights outfit.
Brown made it clear their second trial hit-out should have been an improvement.
“From trial one to two the intensity raises,” Brown cited to the ABC.
“The first trial you play 30 odd players, all clubs do, so you don’t really know how you’re travelling.
“Trial two you get a bit of a feel for where everyone is and where the group is at.”
By Brown’s standards it was not what he wanted to see.
“We had some really good individual performances but collectively, there were things we got wrong which were pretty basic ones,” Brown said.
“Cronulla were very professional, and we were very unprofessional.”
But ultimately, he has belief his players will get it together before they clash with Cronulla again.
“I’m pretty confident the players are experienced enough now to know what works.”
Versatile new recruit Kurt Mann has been labelled a Mr Fixit.
After starting on the wing, switching to the no. 9 and finishing in the centres in the Knights trial match against Cronulla, Mann is shaping up to be the go-to guy for coach Nathan Brown.
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While the 26-year-old has spent most of the pre-season training at hooker, he’s expecting to make a few shifts during the season.
Mann told the Newcastle Herald, he’s happy to move wherever the team needs him.
“Browny has spoken to me about it and I know there will be times when I have to fill in here or there. Skiddsy (Shaun Kenny Dowall) rolled his ankle ay training, so we needed a winger, and I’m happy to do that for the team,” he said.
“As long as I keep chipping away at that (at Hooker) and getting some minutes there, hopefully I’ll keep improving.”