It is a common practice in NRL to hide behind key officials or to shift the blame when the drama hits the club, but Nathan Brown, a brutally honest man, finds himself out as the only person responsible for the chaotic Matt Lodge departure.
The Warriors coach did not point the finger at anyone else at the press conference after his team’s 24-16 loss to the Knights in Brisbane on Saturday.
The New Zealand team’s fourth defeat in a row is the lodge that has been paid in full since the announcement in the middle of the week – all 700,000 – although it was a call to walk before the end of his contract.
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Warriors owner Mark Robinson claims that the reason for the gold handshake was an argument he had with a lodge at a pub last December.
But Brown said the responsibility was on him because he hired Lodge to the club, signing him for the 2021 season.
“When you hire a player and it doesn’t work out, as in the case of Lodge, it’s not anyone’s fault but the head coach’s. I brought Lodge to the club and it didn’t work out so it’s up to me,” Brown said.
“It’s not on the owner, it’s not on the lodge, it’s not on anyone; it’s on me. If you leave your club with someone you brought to the club you did something wrong. It’s not anyone else’s fault but the head coach’s.
“It’s not your fault if you transfer players you didn’t bring to the club, because you’re doing your best to help the club get better.
“So I take full responsibility for the lodge situation.”
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Peter O’Sullivan was the Warriors recruiting guru when the lodge was signed, but the veteran scout left for the Dolphins at the end of last season.
According to Robinson and Lodge, Brown was not involved in the encounter at the pub, but Warriors advisers insisted he was blamed when it was raised at the press conference.
“As I said, you know, I brought Matt to the club, I was the head coach when he came to the club and it didn’t work out,” Brown said.
“So the entire responsibility falls on me, not anyone else.”
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Club Rugby has been in Brisbane since the Lodge Warriors left but it is a hot tip to join the Dolphins for their inaugural NRL season in 2023.
This is due to his association with O’Sullivan and the fact that he has not yet joined a club playing in the NRL.
“I chatted with Lodge. I just want her next club to work for her. Her best year is coming; I just told her,” Brown said.
“He was playing some really good footy for us. I thought he was playing really good, consistent footy.
“I just want her to go to a club where she goes and it works like a four or five year block for her. Her best foot is coming. She’s still only 26 years old.
“Unfortunately it didn’t work here and as I said, when you bring a guy to the club and it doesn’t work you have to see what you did wrong.”
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