Newcastle Knights NYC assistant coach Tony Clarke believes the young Knights will learn a lot from their gut-wrenching one-point loss to the Penrith Panthers at Hunter Stadium on Monday night.
Newcastle showed great character to come from behind and level the scores at 28-all after a Lachlan Shipard try was converted out wide by Will Smith with three minutes remaining.
However, a good piece of fortune saw the Panthers retrieve the ball in excellent field position as the clock ticked away, with former Knights player Chris Knight kicking the winning field goal with less than ten seconds remaining.
“It was a game of momentum shifts and unfortunately we were on the wrong end of it,” Clarke said.
“We’re going to take plenty out of it because it is a learning curve for these young guys each week and as coaches it’s something we’ve got to keep teaching them.”
Both teams traded tries throughout the match, with Clarke saying the Knights needed to learn to do a better job of controlling the game.
“It’s all about their footy education and it’s a process we’ll continue to work on,” Clarke said.
“It was probably not a good NYC game because it was try for try, which we don’t really like to see.
“It would’ve been quite exciting for the crowd, but it doesn’t do the coaches much good.”
Knights utility Chad Redman said losing in the final seconds was difficult to stomach.
“It was a bit hard to lose by one, I’d rather lose by 50 than lose by a point so it was a bit hard to take," he said.
Redman said the Knights’ defensive efforts were not up to the high standards that they had set for themselves earlier in the season.
“It’s a bit disappointing to go try for try because we’re not about that,” he said.
“The first six rounds we were defending well and holding sides to ten points but it was a bit disappointing to let them over that 16-point mark which we always try and get them under.
“Every game we learn though, so hopefully next week we’ll get into the Roosters on Sunday.”