Failure to play to conditions cost Knights
Knights coach Rick Stone and captain Kurt Gidley were in agreeance that the club's failure to play to the horrendous Newcastle conditions cost them in their 13-0 loss to the Dragons on Saturday night.
In what was a hugely rainy and windy affair at Hunter Stadium, Gidley noted especially that the Dragons frustrated them out of the game as the Knights forwards failed to punch through the Red V's defence throughout.
"We spoke about not doing it but our long passes and backline shifts trying to get around them in conditions like we played in just doesn't work and we didn't put enough pressure on them on our last plays," Gidley said.
Despite Newcastle's multiple good opportunities to score points, they failed to do so for only the second time at home in 25 years - something Stone attributed to Newcastle's lack of directness.
With the Dragons scoring through Eto Nabuli and Josh Dugan, Stone wasn't particularly pleased with the defensive reads of some of his edge players.
"Two little misjudgements in defence lose you these games. In between all that, our last plays and racking up pressure against the opposition is vitally important and the Saints managed that better than us," Stone said.
"I don't know if we were terrible. We had enough chances early on. I thought in the first half we had plenty of chances to score some points.
"We didn't play direct enough or sort out our last plays as much as we could have which meant the Saints played to the conditions better than us."
In what was the previously undefeated Knights' first loss of the season, Gidley believed it wouldn't affect their ability to bounce back against the Sharks next Friday night at Remondis Stadium.
"We haven't played outstanding footy but we have hung tough in the first month and we've defended really well," Gidley said.
"[The Dragons] didn't really score a great deal of points against us, it was more our two lapses of concentration so we'll bounce back next week that's for sure."
Stone went on to add: "We're not going to hang ourselves over this loss. We just need a lot more polish in several areas of our attack. We understand that and it has to be our priority."
Of concern for Newcastle is the health of influential enforcer Beau Scott who limped off the field midway through the second half.
"He has some kind of ankle sprain there. He'll get some scans and we'll have some kind of diagnosis in the next couple of days," Stone said.
"He's had a little bit of trouble with his other ankle the past couple of weeks so it is very unfortunate."