NRL Knights star Brock Lamb under pressure to perform against Brisbane Broncos
Posted on 05/18/19 2:44 PM
Newcastle Knights co-captain Mitchell Pearce has thrown his support behind under-pressureteam-mateBrock Lamb to “play tough” against the Brisbane Broncos with speculation he was close to being axed after the loss to St George Illawarra.
In his first game of the season as starting five-eighth following the injury to Connor Watson, Lamb was well below his best with his defence called into question following the 30-12 defeat.
There are suggestions coach Nathan Brown seriously considered promoting Jack Cogger into the halves at Lamb’s expense before consulting his leadership group who “wanted to give him [Lamb] another shot”.
“I think everyone would agree that Brock wasn’t quite at the races last week,” Brown said earlier this week.
“Brock knows he’s got to pick up his defence. That’s quite clear for everyone to see.
“That’s the challenge when you want to be a first grade player in the halves. Whether you are a good defender or not such a good defender, you are going to see plenty of traffic anyway.
“At the end of the day, you make decisions whether you want to do it or not and that’s the difference between being a first grader or not.”
Brown intimated the influence of senior teammates may have contributed to Lamb getting a selection reprieve.
“He’s got plenty of support there and at the end of the day, the leadership group, they wanted to give him another shot,”Brown said.
“That probably shows the support he’s got from those guys.
“Everyone knows Brock has plenty of talent and I’ve been one of his biggest supporters but talent is a small part of being an NRL player.
“You need other stuff too to be a good NRL player and Brock will make those decisions over the course of time and if he makes the right ones, we’ve all seen what a good player he can be.
“Last year when we were a side that was really struggling, he led us to three or four victories where he was probably one of the main players in those wins.
“So, he has got it in him. It’s just a decision he has to make.No-one else can make that for him.”
Pearce is confident Lamb will respond.
“I’ve got a really big wrap on Brock,”he said.
“He trained great during the pre-seasonand I’m confident inwhat he can contribute to our team.
“He’ll bounce back. Hewas really disappointed in his own game last weekend and I’m sure he will playtough against the Broncos.”
Pearce admits the Broncos will still besmarting from last weekend’s loss to Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium .
“They don’t seem to put too many bad performances together back-to-back so they are going to turn up here and Wayne Bennett will have them ready to go,”he said.
“It’s a good challenge for us but as much as we respect them, we have to focus on ourselves and we know what we have to work on.
“For us, coming off two games that were disappointing, especially defensively and with the errors we have been making, no-one is happy with that and we want to get a reaction.”
Centre Nathan Ross and interchange hooker Danny Levi will celebrate milestones against Brisbane with both set to play their 50thNRL game.