Warriors 'blew it': McFadden
Warriors coach Andrew McFadden was blunt with his assessment of his team's performance in Newcastle following their 24-14 loss, saying his team "blew it".
The Knights were in all sorts midway through the first half when winger James McManus went off for a concussion test and prop David Fa'alogo was sin-binned for a professional foul, and with a 14-6 lead the Warriors appeared to be on track for a victory to start their season.
But they weren't and they didn't. Instead, Newcastle scored three tries in the final 22 minutes to secure victory, adding to the Warriors' almost 600-day streak of not winning in New South Wales.
"I think that's a fair assessment [to say we only have ourselves to blame]. It was extremely disappointing because we blew it," McFadden told media after the game.
"We had a huge opportunity to win and we just lacked that composure and it was very disappointing. We overplayed our hand and went for the knockout punch when it wasn't needed."
Warriors captain Simon Mannering agreed his team let the game slip from their grasp.
"When they went a man down, we didn't really take the opportunity," he said. "They scored a try, we couldn't complete a set and before you know it they had the momentum."
With his team embracing an unusually conservative style of play, McFadden had no qualms over expressing his disappointment with the performance of star halfback Shaun Johnson.
"I thought Shaun was very disappointing. In the big moments at the end, he needed to come up with a bit better," McFadden said.
"Overall there were certain individuals who missed their assignments, especially when we needed them.
"We were on the back foot and all our errors had a snowball effect on our energy and ability to play so again, if we had played a little bit smarter I think we would've got away with that one."
Despite starting the season with a defeat, McFadden was still pleased with other aspects of the game especially after losing influential fullback Sam Tomkins before kick-off to a hamstring injury.
"Before this week we dealt with a fair few blows. We obviously lost Sam [Tomkins] this week and we lost his replacement [Ken Maumalo] in our last run on Friday," McFadden said.
"Then we lost Konrad [Hurrell] in the first 15 minutes because of his leg so the way we stuck with it was pretty impressive.
"At the end of the day, when we finally had the momentum and opportunity, we just weren't composed enough to take it."