Adam O’Brien slams Newcastle Knights over Bulldogs loss, news, David Armstrong Sydney Roosters rumours,

A frustrated Adam O’Brien has urged his ‘distracted’ Newcastle players to turn off social media after they put in a dismal attacking performance in a 32-2 home thrashing of the Bulldogs.

After the break, the Knights’ four-game winning streak collapsed in a sloppy performance highlighted by 15 errors and Jacob Saifiti’s late sin for a deliberate headbutt on Reed Mahoney.

Knights coach O’Brien took aim at his players after the loss, saying: “It’s been a long time since we’ve had a performance like that, it’s going to take a while to get over it…

“We probably need to batten down the hatches, get off social media and not read too much of what you (journalists) are going to write. Maybe we were reading too much into how well we were doing. “Now we will look inward and try to solve it.”


“There were some guys there who clearly seemed distracted in their performances,” he added. “We lacked a little creativity with the ball. “They looked like a team that had a bye week.”

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O’Brien began his post-game press conference by labeling it: “bad, bad night. It’s hard to accept… I’m very disappointed.

“I think there was a lot of effort, without a doubt. But effort alone won’t win you the game. I think in the first 20 minutes we did a great job defensively keeping them in their own end.

“They canceled a couple of our attempts, they got a couple against the flow of the game. “I think that really deflated us, frustrated us, and we never got over it.”

Particularly poor was rookie fullback David Armstrong, who has been outstanding since his debut: the Knights have won four consecutive games since he replaced the injured Kalyn Ponga in the number one jersey. He kicked two key kicks, was caught out of position on a handful of occasions and was generally poor.

It comes after rumors this fortnight linking Armstrong with a move to the Sydney Roosters this season. Adam O’Brien told Newcastle Herald The club had already recently offered Armstrong a contract extension in a bid to keep the Chooks at bay, but tonight they said transfer rumors may have gotten into the 23-year-old’s head.

“Possibly,” O’Brien admitted. “He’s just a young guy. He’s been in four games and has gotten a lot of pats on the back. Everything is new for him.

“There is all the speculation, the contracts and the management and all that. He is young, he will learn from it.”

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Knights captain Jayden Brailey was equally disappointed after putting in an effort that saw many soaked Newcastle fans leave the McDonald Jones Stadium with more than 10 minutes remaining.

“Definitely not a good feeling in your stomach tonight, especially here at home. It’s not good,” Brailey said.

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