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Brown sees purple patch ahead for Knights

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/05/2017 Scott Bailey
Newcastle coach Nathan Brown © Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images Newcastle coach Nathan Brown

Newcastle coach Nathan Brown has identified the upcoming six-week period as a key time in the NRL club's growth after their shock 34-20 win over Canberra.

The Knights pulled off their biggest win since August 2015, and just their third victory in Brown's one-and-a-half season tenure by defeating the Raiders on Sunday.

The result came off the back of the representative weekend, and they have their two byes in the next four rounds, a period which Brown sees as potentially being a great benefit for his team.

"It was so important because our young guys were able to recover, they had time to train and work hard on their games," Brown said.

"We got our biggest growth period in this period last year."

The Knights averaged a 22-point deficit in each of their 22 losses last season, while they also had one win and one draw.

But in the three games around their two byes, that margin shrunk to an average of seven against the likes of top-four finishers Melbourne and Canberra.

And given their improvement since that point, Brown expects a more fruitful run in terms of wins this season.

"During the Origin period is where we stopped getting flogged and started to compete a lot better," he said.

"If we get the same growth this year we should see some more wins tick over."

Brown's young brigade, who have endured a difficult development period, were among his best in Sunday's win at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Sione Mata'utia scored two tries, while fellow 20-year-old Brock Lamb set up two four-pointers and crossed for one himself.

Daniel Saifiti ran for 191 metres, after watching his brother Jacob be taken from the field after fears of a nerve injury in his neck.

Jacob was later cleared of any serious problems and discharged from John Hunter Hospital, but Brown said he expected nothing less of Daniel on Sunday.

"I'm probably a bit hard on him because he's only a young kid who has played 20-odd games," Brown said.

"But my expectation on him is quite high.

"He come off the back of a great year last year and had some indifferent performances.

"But in the past three weeks he has got better, better and better."

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