Nathan Brown column: We’ve got to get back to the basics – fast!
The Huddersfield Giants head coach answers the questions put to him by Examiner Rugby League writer Chris Roberts. This column was written before Nathan Brown's house in Australia was destroyed by fire.
You described the performance against Warrington as ‘rock bottom’. Do you still feel that’s a fair assessment?
When we can’t kick-off properly or can’t catch kick-offs after we’ve just scored, that’s just embarrassing.
We’ve simply lost the art of how to play the game. It’s all about trying to build pressure and that’s something we just don’t seem capable of doing at the moment.
When we actually hold the ball and kick it long, we’re not too bad at it at all, but we’ve forgotten how to do that.
People are just losing the plot, and the fact that it’s different offenders each week adds to our sense of frustration.
And something else that added to the disappointment was that we spoke about what we were doing wrong at half-time and nothing changed.
At the start of the second half we completed two sets, then we dropped the ball and we were back to square one. It’s just not good enough and things have to change fast.
Do you feel it’s a mental problem as much as anything?
I suppose it if was that easy to resolve, we’d have resolved it before we got to Warrington!
As I said, a big concern is that it’s different people at different times coming up with the errors.
But whatever the reasons – and it’s obviously something we’re working hard at trying to address – when you can’t kick-off and keep it play and then can’t catck a kick-off, that’s just rock bottom for me because they are such basic parts of the game.
As well as the errors you made, were you also concerned at the penalty count of 12-7 against you?
When you don’t have the ball that’s what’s going to happen.
Penalties flow with the possession, and we gifted them so much more ball and field position that this was inevitable. It’s like a domino effect.
And obviously in the heat, this penalty count took its toll, particularly given the quality of the opposition.
At the end of the day, the penalty count wasn’t the major issue for us.
Danny Brough and Paul Whatuira were both missing on Sunday. But you fully expect them to be back for next Sunday’s trip to Bradford Bull don’t you?
Yes, they didn’t play at Warrington because they were carrying slight knocks.
They’ve got the week off next week, so they can all stay fit and take their place in what will be a fully fit squad for the first time.
In fact, we’ll have four or five players back available for our next game, although given our recent performance that’s not going to solve our problem.
One of those who’ll be returning is David Fa’alogo, who has been great for us this season, but he’s not going to be able to change our fortunes on his own.
What’s going to do that is improving our discipline, actually kicking the ball down towards the other end, chasing hard and not giving away penalties.