NRL great Johnathan Thurston believes the Newcastle Knights “need more” out of veteran halfback Blake Green.
NRL great Johnathan Thurston believes the Newcastle Knights “need more” out of veteran halfback Blake Green while Mitchell Pearce remains sidelined with injury.
The Knights stuck with the Panthers for the better part of 60-mintues at BlueBet Stadium, until they eventually gave way in a 24-6 run-over.
With weeks still ahead of Pearce until he returns from a pectoral tear, Kurt Mann has shouldered much of the responsibility in the halves.
The No.6 finished with an assist and was constantly asking questions of Penrith’s defence.
But according to Thurston, the same couldn’t be said for Green who failed to “stand up” in the big moments when he was needed.
“He was probably one of Newcastle’s best,” Thurston said of Mann.
“I liked the way he was taking the line on from two passes wide. He never stopped trying. He really needs to stand up with Blake Green over these next few weeks when Mitchell Pearce is on the sidelines.
“We know that Kalyn Ponga is always going to do his best and keep his team in the match, but the 7 and 6 really need to stand up.
“I think they probably need a little bit more from Blake Green. There was a really poor kick in the back end of that game and then Nathan Cleary comes back down and puts a kick in and that’s when they score off the back of that scrum.
“That’s the difference between the two halves. He’s got some work to do.”
Cleary was among Penrith’s best tonight, collecting a try assist and a linebreak assist, kicking with perfection and controlling the rhythm of the game.
But the game arguably belonged to winger Brian To’o who racked up 337 metres alongside a stunning try, including 123 post-contact and continually proved a colossal task for tacklers.
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