Knight coach Adam O’Brien says Newcastle’s 48-4 thrashing at the hands of Melbourne is on him after the club failed to handle their relocation to the Sunshine Coast this week.
Newcastle never looked in the contest tonight after allowing the Storm to cross over for five unanswered tries during the first half.
After entering the match without Mitchell Pearce and Daniel Saifiti, Newcastle’s luck didn’t get much better when David Klemmer and Kalyn Ponga both failed to take to the field in the second half after suffering separate head knocks.
O’Brien said his side’s misfortunes against Melbourne were as a result of not handling the NRL’s temporary relocation, in which all non-Queensland teams were forced to head north amid the ongoing COVID-19 clusters impacting Victoria and New South Wales.
“It was a tough week and we took that into the contest,” O’Brien told reporters after the match.
“We haven’t handled the week like we should have and that lays with me.
“I think we trained light and we started that way tonight.”
The Knights coach said the club’s decision to flip their training days due to the pressure brought on by the move up to Queensland, was a major contributor to tonight’s heavy defeat.
“With the arrangements to travel up the Sunshine Coast, we flipped our training days,” O’Brien added.
“When we usually have a day off, we trained.
“So whenever you do something different, you fraught with danger, hence having some awareness with Mitchell Pearce – his hamstring after the training.
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“We had a couple of things go against us during the week in terms of Daniel Saifiti, he didn’t get up for the game and Mitchell didn’t get up for the game.
“We didn’t handle a couple of things in the game as well, obviously with Kalyn Ponga and David Klemmer not participating in much of the contest.
“It’s a reflection of the week.
“It starts with me and I need to get us into a rhythm and a routine now that we’re up there in camp, and get our training.”