Sam Mataora in action for the Knights against Melbourne on Saturday.

Despite the result not going the way of his team, Newcastle coach Nathan Brown was pleased in his team's efforts against the Storm on Saturday.

Brown looked at the game as a learning experience for his players, with the team reduced to 15 men when Sione Mata'utia and Danny Levi were sidelined with concussions. But he was disappointed they couldn't see the game out given the fact they led 14-6 with 20 minutes to go.

"To see all the hard work go in, and with losing a few bodies in the first half in key positions, and then putting ourselves in a position to win and not to win, we're obviously disappointed for the boys," Brown said.

"Hopefully they can learn from what that effort and commitment brings to the table and what it allows you to do, learning from this and being consistent is hopefully going to be the key message that comes out of today. 

 


"The commitment and effort was great from most – but there's going to be some good lessons for a couple of people as well – but we've got to be encouraged by what they delivered.

"That's the challenge for us now to do things consistently well, but if we can get that effort on a consistent basis, we'll start to pick up a few wins.

"I think we showed today that if we get our commitment-based stuff right and trust our systems and work hard together for long periods, that regardless of who we play we can give ourselves a shot."

Knights co-captain Jeremy Smith was also buoyed by Newcastle's performance, but admitted he was always wary of a Storm comeback.

"That's what Melbourne have been known for over the past 10 or so years," Smith said.

"We played 70 minutes of real good footy, and it was just a 10-minute period that we let ourselves down, and Melbourne being Melbourne came back and made us pay."

The Knights host the Wests Tigers next Sunday, and will have co-captain Tariq Sims back in the line-up following his suspension.

"The big thing about Tariq is that he's a winner and guys like that have a good impact on people around them, and the more of those types of players we can put in the team, the better effect it'll have on the squad. So he's very important for us," Brown said.