Pearce won't be our scapegoat: Knights

Dec 1, 2017 - 6:45 AM Newcastle coach Nathan Brown reckons Mitchell Pearce's days as a scapegoat are over.

Arguably the most maligned player in modern rugby league ended speculation about his future by signing a rich four-year NRL deal with the Knights on Thursday.

Over the course of his career, the long-serving NSW halfback has been an easy target due to his involvement in seven losing State of Origin series and a string of damaging off-field incidents.

It's been suggested his exit from Sydney's bright lights will work wonders for the ex-Roosters No.7 and Brown predicts he will enjoy overwhelming support in the working-class mining city.

Newcastle fans are some of the most passionate and parochial in the competition and have remained so even during the club's recent stretch of sustained failure.

Brown says Pearce will not only enjoy the backing of Novocastrians, the pressure to deliver a premiership will also be lifted from his shoulders.

"What he will get in Newcastle is support from the fans and the people," Brown said on Friday.

"He's a player who has copped his fair share of criticism over time. Up here he'll get great support. The decision to come here will be good for him.

"If he went to one or two other clubs and they didn't win the comp, he would have been the go-to man and it would have been his fault."

Pearce's signing caps an impressive recruitment drive headed by football manager Darren Mooney.

The Knights have also landed boom rookies Kalyn Ponga and Connor Watson, seasoned forwards Aidan Guerra, Chris Heighington and Jacob Lillyman and Brisbane stars Tautau Moga and Herman Ese'ese.

Brown said the Knights still had room to move in the salary cap and more signings could be forthcoming.

"We're still in a good spot to do more things and Moons is always talking about players," he said.

"Whether we're finished for this season or not, only time will tell."

Source: AAP

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!