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2020/21 Offseason - Knights


The big question will be what happens when/if Green rejoins the side? Mann shifts to the bench, or it’s a case of he’s either in the starting side, or not at all?


The big question will be what happens when/if Green rejoins the side? Mann shifts to the bench, or it’s a case of he’s either in the starting side, or not at all?
I suppose it depends how well the bench of forwards go in that time too!

Mann could also go to 13 with Watson to bench. Very interesting indeed.
Also wonder where Watson will defend if he is 13. I can see him swapping with Mann in D.


First Grade
The big question will be what happens when/if Green rejoins the side? Mann shifts to the bench, or it’s a case of he’s either in the starting side, or not at all?
I'm interested to see what happens with Tex if he (hopefully) kills it in the first month or so that Ponga is out for


No Knights in the Indigenous or Maori All Star squads. Based on some of the players picked I'd say it's a club decision.


First Grade
O'Brien was the coach involved at the races scuffle a couple of weeks ago.. Apparently it wasn't as bad as being made out though


Newcastle Knights coach Adam O’Brien involved in race day altercation with drunken punter
The NRL’s latest soap opera — Adam O’Brien’s run-in with a drunken punter at the races — isn’t all it’s been made out to be, PAUL KENT reveals.

Paul Kent
3 min read
February 9, 2021 - 5:50PM
News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom

You would have to take short money to land the bet that, of all the NRL coaches to be involved in a stink at the races, the culprit would be a publican’s son.

Newcastle Knights coach Adam O’Brien grew up in his old man’s pub on the south coast, the Bayview Hotel at Batemans Bay, where he got close enough, often enough, to men behaving badly that he knows what it looks like and, as equally important, how to avoid it.

That’s the trick the good publicans don’t tell the bad ones, a little subtlety that is also often missed by security guards before they graduate from Charm School.

The good ones like Mick O’Brien could always escort a troublesome drunk out the door while making them believe it was their idea to flee the joint.

Wild allegations are flying around about Knights coach Adam O'Brien. Picture: Tony Feder/Getty Images
It is a profitable part of the pub game.

So, also, is knowing when a line has been crossed. Mick O’Brien always knew when that point had come, too.

His young bloke Adam put himself into the storyline of the soap opera that is rugby league when it went around on Monday that an unnamed coach was involved in a bathroom scuffle at the races a couple of Saturdays ago.

The version that was trotted around belonged entirely to the security guard involved, with O’Brien going down 40-0.

It went that a man accidentally bumped into O’Brien who, because he had lost on the punt and had had too many beers, began screaming obscenities at the patron and wanted to put on a stink, even after he had apologised.


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The incident took place at Newcastle Racecourse. Picture: Mark Evans/Getty Images
According to the security guard O’Brien even demanded, “Don’t you know who I am?”, a charge impossible to recover from.

Not a line commonly heard in pubs, mind you, but there it was.

The incident quickly sparked the usual conspiracy theories.

Firstly that the Knights were sweeping it under their ever-bulging rug, another incident at a club in free fall.

The thought then progressed to why coaches aren’t subject to the same rules of behaviour as players, who could be subject to an NRL investigation.

The answer to that is they are.

The Knights reject any claim of a cover-up, saying they merely thought so little of the incident they did not believe it was one worth reporting.

Like usually happens, though, the genie can’t be put back in the bottle.

Knights sources say O’Brien has heavily denied demanding: “Don’t you know who I am?”

The Knights thought so little of the O’Brien incident, they didn’t bother reporting it. Picture: AAP Image/Darren Pateman
Also, the scuffle got only as physical as the initial incident at the door, nothing like what was being said on that fountain of truth, social media.

O’Brien has admitted fronting the bloke. That’s when the security guard walked in.

Still, O’Brien has to live with the half-truth version.

O’Brien was in an upstairs room when the Newcastle meeting got abandoned because of poor visibility.

It was a mercy ruling for most, happy to get out while they still had cab fare home.

Along with his several other Knights staff, O’Brien moved downstairs to another bar and stopped for one more on the way through.

Later, O’Brien was leaving the bathroom when he opened the door and stepped back to let in a couple of blokes coming the other way. Even though the Newcastle meeting was abandoned, they were still racing around the country and so, as usual, one direction is always in more of a hurry than the other at the races.

As the man whacked him in the belly on the way through and O’Brien stepped back with a choice to make.

Willie Peters also had a run-in with the punter. Picture: Brett Costello
Was it an accident? Was it meant to be a friendly how-you-going to the Knights coach?

It’s hard to tell.

If O’Brien had been an anonymous drinker at a Batemans Bay hotel there would have been only one reaction but then, if that were the case, would he have got whacked in the first place?

It is worth noting that this was not the first encounter the Knights had with the man.

Half an hour earlier, assistant coach Willie Peters headed to the tote to place a bet and was met with the timely classic, from the same bloke, “Who the f… are you?”

If he didn’t know he wouldn’t have asked, but such is the logic of the drunk punter.

Peters said nothing but remembered the face.

When O’Brien left the bathroom he grabbed Peters and the rest of his crew and told them they were gone.

As they walked out a woman stopped O’Brien for a photo.

“I don’t give a f … who you are,” yelled the man from the side.


First Grade
When I first saw the story I thought, “nah won’t be O’brien, not something like this, not us.”
Silly me.


When I first saw the story I thought, “nah won’t be O’brien, not something like this, not us.”
Silly me.

I knew it was going to be OB. Noticed a comment on FB by a bloke commenting on the incident before it hit the press and they named OB.

They were saying OB wanted to go on with it even after the other bloke had walked away.

Pretty much a nothing incident really.

Still Nutty

for all the crap they cop, congratulations to Paul Kent and the Telegraph (I won't use their pseudonym in this instance) for actually going to the trouble of setting the record straight and putting a more accurate and less sensationalist version of the story out there in the Press...

They get enough brickbats, they should also get the bouquets when they earn them;)


Staff member
Hold your horses

The “incident” involving Knights coach Adam O’Brien at Newcastle Racecourse, where he was accused of being out of control and involved in a scuffle, has done considerable damage to his reputation. The story was spreading fast early in the week and I spoke with the Knights coach about it. I came away convinced he had done nothing wrong, that he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and ran into a couple of blokes who were on a big day out.

Former Titans coach Garth Brennan saw what took place and texted Newcastle chief executive Phil Gardner after he saw the matter gaining traction in the media.

“Hi Phil, Garth Brennan here,” he wrote. “Mate, I’ve just read some stuff online in the media about Adam O’Brien at the races. Now I don’t know Adam well, we’ve met probably twice over the years, but I felt I should touch base with you and support him on what happened on this occasion. I’m sure you’re fully supporting him but if you need any reassurance I want you to know Adam acted calmly and fully professionally.


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“I was at the races on that day and was near where it all happened. I had a table near the group of guys who were involved in the incident for most of the day and they were loud and extremely intoxicated. I witnessed Adam coming out of the toilets and he was calm and in control where the group of men were yelling at Adam, yahooing, slapping hands and carrying on when Adam walked away with his staff, which was the wise decision.

“I only spoke briefly with Adam and he wasn’t affected at all and in complete control. After 18 years in the cops I reckon I can identify scenarios like this with idiots carrying on and I reckon Adam handled himself perfectly.”

Dark Knight

There are rumblings at the Knights about David Klemmer. There have been whispers that all is not right between Klemmer and sections of the club. My tip to club management is to get the former Bulldogs star on side. To be a top-eight team, or better, they need a happy Klemmer.



First Grade
Thanks for the tip Weidler. I’m sure the club was waiting with bated breath for your advice regarding this rumour you just made up.


An angry Klemmer is one thing, an uninterested Klemmer is another.

Who knows if there's any truth to that statement but I'd hope not and couldn't see what it would be over? I thought he and his family are setup quite nicely here and he has a prominent role within the squad.

Old dog

Got to admit that Klemmers form dropped a bit as season progressed, reason ?????
That in its self is enough to start a rumour by media, hope it is just that, a rumour with no basis of truth. At his best makes pack look strong.


Team list for the trial against Cessnock this weekend. Mostly NSW Cup but a few fringe first graders

1. Mackenzie Baker
2. Jacob Kiraz
3. Brayden Musgrove
4. Dylan Lucas
5. Dom Young
6. Hayden Loughrey
7. Kobe Davis
8. Pasami Saulo
9. Mitch Black
10. Garrett Smith
11. Jaron Purcell
12. Brodie Jones
13. Jack Johns


14. Luke Huth
15. Christian Ma'anaima
16. Mat Croker
17. John Tolofea

18. Zac Hosking, 19. Dan Ticehurst, 20. Blake Campbell, 21. Harvey Neville, 22. Matt Soper-Lawler, 23. Ben Talty, 24. Liam Wilkinson, 25. Harry Croker, 26. Harry van Dartel, 27. Sione Tuitupou-Kutu, 28. Henry Penn, 29. Jesse Cronin, 30. Tyler Coburn, 31. Blake Lenehan


Interesting that Black is the starting hooker. Huth was Flegg captain and hooker in 2019, so looks like Black has overtaken him in the pecking order.