NRL 2022: Adam O’Brien press conference, video, Newcastle Knights vs Melbourne Storm, score, Kalyn Ponga

Knights manager Adam O’Brien revealed he saw an improvement in his team’s performance this week despite being beaten 50-2 by Storm.

Knights manager Adam O’Brien said “people will think I’m out of my mind” before revealing that he has seen an improvement in his squad this week despite a 50-2 score.

Exactly seven days ago O’Brien apologized to fans after Newcastle’s 39-2 defeat to Parramatta. He labeled the team’s performance that day “horrible” and admitted that he was “hard to look someone in the eye.”

The Knights were expected to respond to that bombardment, but were defeated by the Storm instead.

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But despite the result, O’Brien believes he has seen a response from some of his players.

“People will think they’re out of their minds if they look at the score and they think there has been (improvement) but there has been a response,” he said.

“There were some parts that I haven’t seen, the fundamentals like taking the ball from kickoffs and kicking correctly, I haven’t seen all of that. So I’m not happy with that stuff, but some people have shown that they really care, but in some parts we were still soft.

“They (the Storm) played too fast, Harry (Grant) had too much time, in the end they had a good time.”

The Knights’ day started off on the completely wrong foot as Jake Clifford’s kick-off went full-blown. The Tempest then scored two tries in five minutes before laying down on another seven tries.

Newcastle’s only points were a penalty right at half-time. It was a bizarre decision to pick the two as they were 26 points behind.

Skipper Kalyn Ponga raised his hand later for this.

When asked if he was surprised by the decision, O’Brien said “yes” before Ponga intervened.

“It was probably me,” Ponga said.

“We probably should have had a set, I didn’t really know, I didn’t really think … it probably depended on me.”

Ponga was asked if these had been the toughest two weeks since he arrived in Newcastle in 2018.

He said “probably yes”.

The champion supported his coach seeing an improvement in the team’s effort, but admitted that the defeat probably “hurt more”.

“There was a lot more effort than I thought, it’s hard to see that when the scoreboard is reflected as it is, but I thought there was a lot more effort than last week and that probably hurts more,” he said.

The Knights now sit at the bottom of the leaderboard after a six-game losing streak. O’Brien believes the problem is confidence and injuries, but one thing he has faith in is the team’s ability to bounce back.

“There is no question that we lack confidence and we clearly lack the staff,” he said.

“But I thought we tried harder, just our start and I think in the first 17 minutes the Storm only made 12 tackles against our 25. Against the Storm you just can’t do that.

“At the moment we have no confidence and the only answer is to stick together and fight to get out. We will come out on the other side, unfortunately we have been doing it every year for a long time now. “

The Knights are without the likes of Dane Gagai, Jayden Brailey, Lachlan Fitzgibbon and Hymel Hunt.

O’Brien stressed that he can’t take out any players after Sunday’s defeat because “I can’t fill in the 24 on the sheet you filled out on Tuesday because I’m almost naming names.”

But he doesn’t look for any sympathy.

“Nobody will feel sorry for us and we don’t want that,” he said.

“We don’t want people’s sympathy, we don’t want to be kicked unnecessarily, but we don’t want sympathy.

“We will come together and fight. We did it last year, we were on a losing streak and then we regained a couple of key people and some confidence. The fundamental mistake in our game today is trust: you stop seeing things clearly. “

Ponga also sent a message to fans who showed up at McDonald Jones Stadium a week after seeing their team being beaten by the Eels.

“That was the disappointing part,” he said.

“I woke up today and was thinking I’m grateful to do it in front of the people we get to and then to put that effort out there that really hurt. But we love our fans.

“For us, we just have to work hard and stick together, that’s what this city is about, work hard and stick together. This is what we will do. “

Originally published as “People will think I’m out of my mind”: the strange statement of the coach after hitting