Newcastle Knights Coach Adam O’Brien Calls for Social Media Detox After Crushing Loss

Newcastle Knights Coach Adam O’Brien Calls for Social Media Detox After Crushing Loss

In a stunning post-match interview, Newcastle Knights coach Adam O’Brien didn’t mince words. His team’s performance against the Bulldogs left him frustrated, and he had a pointed message for his players: “Get off social media.”

The Knights, fresh off a bye, looked a step behind the Bulldogs. Their four-game win streak came to a crashing halt, with Newcastle’s error rate giving the home side virtually no chance. The late sin-binning of Jacob Saifiti for a deliberate headbutt on Reed Mahoney also played a role in the margin blowing out to 30 points. But O’Brien wasn’t interested in dissecting the particulars of the match. Instead, he focused on a deeper issue: distraction.

The Social Media Trap

“It’s been a long time since we’ve had a performance like that,” O’Brien said. “We probably need to batten down the hatches, get off social media, and don’t read too much of what you guys (journalists) are going to write. Maybe we were reading too much of that leading up to this one about how good we were going. Now we’ll look inward and try to fix it.”

O’Brien didn’t hold back, pointing out that some players looked visibly distracted during their performances. The team lacked creativity on the ball, and it was evident that they had taken their foot off the gas. “That looked like a team that had had a week off,” he added.

Effort Alone Isn’t Enough

While O’Brien acknowledged the effort put forth by his players, he emphasized that effort alone wouldn’t secure victories. “I think there was plenty of effort, no doubt,” he said. “But effort on its own is not going to win you the game. I do think the first 20 minutes, we did a hell of a job defensively, keeping them pinned down their own end. We had a couple of tries disallowed, and they got a couple against the run of play. I think that really deflated us, frustrated us, and we never overcame it.”

Rookie Fullback David Armstrong

O’Brien also addressed rookie fullback David Armstrong’s performance. Armstrong, filling in for Kalyn Ponga during the Knights’ win streak, had a mistake-riddled game. Caught out of position more than once and with a couple of handling errors from dropped kicks, Armstrong’s form was a concern. The Roosters reportedly have their eyes on him, but Newcastle has already offered Armstrong a contract extension to keep him in their ranks.

“He’s only a young bloke,” O’Brien said. “He’s been in four games, getting plenty of pats on the back. It’s all new to him. There’s all the speculation, contracts, and management. He’ll learn from it.”