Loss shows why I'm out of Knights: Brown

Coach Nathan Brown says Newcastle's huge Wests Tigers loss shows why he's leaving at season's end.
Coach Nathan Brown says Newcastle's huge Wests Tigers loss shows why he's leaving at season's end.

Newcastle coach Nathan Brown concedes his side's insipid first-half performance against the Wests Tigers shows why he's leaving the NRL club.

Just five days after Brown announced his resignation for the end of the season, Newcastle turned in arguably their worst performance during his tenure.

Needing a win to stay in realistic finals contention, the Knights slumped to 30-0 down at halftime and completed just eight sets.

The halftime scoreline was their worst since they trailed Canterbury 36-6 in July 2015, in a game that ultimately cost Brown's predecessor Rick Stone his job.

"The first half is probably a reflection of why me and the boss came to the resolution we did last week," Brown said.

"When you're in these situations, you're either going to get an outstanding performance or what we did in the first half.

"What we did in the first half is a long way behind with where that group of players can get to.

"It's disappointing for a lot of people."

Brown conceded earlier this week he was not the man to take the Knights forward after rebuilding them from the bottom of the NRL.

But he insisted his exit could not be blamed as a distraction for the loss, pointing to his success at St George Illawarra and St Helens after it was confirmed he would leave.

But if nothing else, the Knights did little to honour his legacy in the loss.

The defeat was their worst to Balmain, Western Suburbs or the Wests Tigers, as only three players finished the evening without a missed tackle.

The concern is what will be dished up with the season already over, with old boys' day next Saturday against wooden spooners-elect Gold Coast.

"There's never a great time for this (news he was leaving)," he said.

"If you said to me how it's ending is how it looks today, is that how you want it to look?

"No, but I am very proud of where we took things at the Knights from where we started.

"I think the next coach will be quite happy with where the squad is at and where the salary-cap situation is.

"Sure we would have liked to have won tonight and won next week and had a good (go) at the finals."

Australian Associated Press