Brown benches Snowden at Knights

Reputations clearly mean nothing to Newcastle coach Nathan Brown.

Despite needing all the help he can get, the Knights mentor has not thought twice about relegating former NSW prop Kade Snowden to 19th man for Saturday’s daunting NRL clash with South Sydney at ANZ Stadium.

Brown didn’t baulk at the massive call despite enforcer Pauli Pauli being suspended after taking an early plea for his late hit on Titans forward Leivaha Pulu in their disappointing 30-12 loss.

Korbin Sims will step up and partner Sam Mataora in the front row after Snowden floundered in just 28 minutes on the field for the 2015 wooden spooners against the Titans.

Brown made no apologies.

“Some (forwards) did some good things but not collectively,” Brown told reporters.

“It’s where the club is at the minute and probably where the club has been the last few years.

“We need our effort levels to last longer and for the younger kids to understand what the process of winning a game is all about.

“As long as they keep getting better that’s the key.”

Brown confirmed winger Chanel Mata’utia (knee) would be ruled out for up to two months and be replaced by Nathan Ross.

Remarkably Mata’utia suffered the injury in the first two minutes of the Titans clash but still played out the match.

“He did really well to tough it out for 78 minutes to be honest,” Brown said.

“Everyone is proud of what he did – he didn’t let anyone down.”

Brown named Sione Mata’utia on an extended bench but admitted the former Test flyer would run around in the NSW Cup this weekend despite also having Jake Mamo (ankle) sidelined.

“I would say at this stage unless something else went wrong with an outside back,” Brown said.

“It would be in his best interest to get a (NRL) game next week.”

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