NRL Rd 23 - Tigers v Knights
NRL Rd 23 - Tigers v Knights

Knights reject Brown’s quit offer

Under-siege Nathan Brown will see out the season with Newcastle despite offering to stand down immediately as Knights coach.

He had told skipper Mitchell Pearce and senior players after the 46-4 loss to the Wests Tigers at Campbelltown last Saturday night that he was prepared to leave straight away if it was best for the team - then asked for their thoughts and a response over the weekend.

By Monday morning Brown had received no feedback from the playing group.

He took that as a vote of no-confidence.

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Senior Knights players didn’t get back to Nathan Brown on if he should stand down immediately. Picture: AAP
Senior Knights players didn’t get back to Nathan Brown on if he should stand down immediately. Picture: AAP

 

Brown has since met with chief executive Phil Gardner to discuss the situation, where he offered to step down immediately rather than coach for the final two games.

He then sent The Daily Telegraph a text message on Monday afternoon to say he would remain at the helm for the remaining fixtures.

"I'm finishing the season," Brown wrote.

The Knights play the Gold Coast Titans and Penrith Panthers in the last two rounds and are still a faint hope of playing finals football.

It is understood his relationship with the players has reached total breaking point.

The lack of effort in the 46-4 loss to the Tigers on Saturday at Campbelltown was the final straw, as the Knights' top-eight hopes all-but vanished.

The Knights have gone into crisis management over the issue.

Superstar fullback Kalyn Ponga has been muzzled and told he is off limits to media this week after a flippant comment about Brown's departure. His was one of several performances that attracted heavy criticism after his effort against the Tigers.

Ponga failed to tidy up a grubber kick which led to a try, kicked out on the full from a restart, dropped a bomb, threw an intercept pass and battled poor defensive reads.

 

 

Yet it was his flippant comment when asked how he felt about Brown's departure - "I was at lunch having a nice strawberry thickshake so I wasn't too sad" - that was savaged by former greats.

Pearce is also refusing to comment on the Tigers' debacle or Brown's future.

Last Saturday night was a pathetic performance from a once proud football club that had its season on the line.

Newcastle's performance was so bad and so depressing that league Immortal and the club's greatest player Andrew 'Joey' Johns couldn't watch.