Home / World News / Knights grab much-needed win for O’Brien

Knights grab much-needed win for O’Brien

Newcastle have alleviated pressure on under-fire coach Adam O’Brien, holding on for their first NRL victory in more than a month in a 14-10 win over Wests Tigers.

After leading 14-0 at halftime, the Knights were forced to protect a four-point lead through a nervous final 16 minutes at Campbelltown on Sunday.

They did it without David Klemmer, who remained sidelined following last week’s controversial incident involving a Newcastle trainer.

The victory marked their first since round 16, while it was just the club’s third success since April.

And it came after a week when pressure intensified on O’Brien as the embattled club dealt with the fallout from the Klemmer drama, the Knights’ poor form and the coach’s post-match press conference after their loss to Canterbury.

But it didn’t come easy.

After keeping their 14-point lead through to the 53rd minute, the Knights cracked when Dominic Young failed to take an Adam Doueihi bomb and Brent Naden collected it on the bounce to score.

With 17 minutes to play it was 14-10 when Jock Madden put on a superb long ball to send Asu Kepaoa over, after the Tigers had enjoyed the majority of the play on the Knights’ line.

With 30 seconds left the Tigers received a set restart for a ruck infringement on the last tackle of the set, giving them four more plays to try to snatch the game.

One play was wasted when Jock Madden opted not to pass, Fa’amanu Brown ran another straight out of dummy-half and Daine Laurie dropped the final chance on the siren to end the match.

“It’s a relief for everyone. Players, staff and families,” O’Brien said.

“It matters. Everyone is invested. I am the same. Everyone from physios to gear stewards.

“It was a tough week. I’m really proud of the players. They rallied, they were really united, trained well. I am really pleased for them.”

Realistically, the final set summed up a frustrating afternoon for Wests Tigers.

After pushing North Queensland a fortnight ago and beating Brisbane last week, the joint-venture club was back to looking like the team that sits 15th on the ladder.

The Tigers missed 39 tackles and their only line breaks came in Kepaoa’s try and from Kelma Tualagi in the last minute to put them on the attack.

They were also clearly beaten out of the blocks, as Enari Tuala bagged a double on the left wing courtesy of a Jake Clifford grubberkick and pass.

Tex Hoy also brushed Adam Doueihi aside for another first-half try, creating something out of nothing to help set up the 14-0 halftime lead.

“We’ve been consistent for a month and been really good,” Tigers interim coach Brett Kimmorley said.

“So it’s really disappointing, our performance today. The NRL is a really hard competition. Last week’s performance doesn’t mean you win this week.

“Looking at where the opposition are and the struggles they have in their club, and taking the (eyes) off ourselves. So it’s disappointing.

“We were pretty poor today as a club.”

About brandsauthority

Check Also

Socceroo Kuol signs with EPL's Newcastle

Central Coast’s 18-year-old attacker Garang Kuol says it is “unreal” to have signed for English …

%d bloggers like this: