Knights are drained: Ross
Newcastle fullback Nathan Ross admits the Knights are mentally drained following their shock 20-18 loss to the Canterbury Bulldogs in the dying stages at Belmore on Sunday.
Newcastle let slip a 10-point lead late in the contest with Bulldogs pair Marcelo Montoya and Moses Mbye crossing for tries before full-time to send the Belmore crowd into a frenzy.
In the last three weeks the Knights have blown an 18-point advantage against St George Illawarra and were then manhandled against a struggling Wests Tigers outfit in front of their home fans.
An honest Ross said the past three weeks had taken a toll on the side.
"I'm pretty emotional because we're a lot better team than where we are on the table and what we show sometimes out on the field," Ross told NRL.com.
"This game and St George are two that have been draining on the side because we've realised we lost another game where we should've won.
"We stuck to a game plan for 78 minutes and then one thing doesn't go to plan and they go 80 metres and score. The Bulldogs had a lot play for and we'll take lessons away from this but how many more lessons do we need?"
The rollercoaster three weeks for the Novocastrians has coincided with the Coogee junior's shift to fullback; a role he admits will take time to adjust to.
Since shifting into the No.1 jersey, the 28-year-old has averaged 197 metres per game and his goal-line defence – demonstrated with a try-saving tackle on Aiden Tolman in the first half – was something he prides himself on.
"It's a position I've wanted to play in the NRL for a long time and I'm happy with the evolution so far," Ross said.
"Playing on the wing or in the centres I've realised what I need in a fullback so I've been able to see it from that perspective and now help out that way.
"I think talk is one of the biggest attributes and I'm not scared to put my body on the line."
Ross needs no motivation to lift for games but taking on the Brisbane Broncos on Saturday night adds extra fire to the belly for the City Origin representative.
"That's a really good one for me, I can't wait for it," Ross said.
"It's a game that I always want to find another leg for. I've got a point to prove on Saturday."
Asked to elaborate, Ross was tight-lipped but after being once told by Wayne Bennett he wasn't up to NRL standard, the motivation was obvious.
"I'm not going to mention why but it's a game that I really want to show what I've got," he said.
"The Broncos are a great team with players backing up from Origin hopefully they've got some heavy legs."
Newcastle are expected to announce the signings of Broncos pair Tautau Moga and Herman Ese'ese in the coming weeks and Ross believes the new recruits will lift for the occasion taking on their future club.
Cowboys prodigy Kalyn Ponga tore the Knights apart during the Anzac contest back in April with two tries in a man-of-the-match performance.
"I haven't really been in that situation but I assume if you're going to play against the team you're going to, it's a good way to make a statement," Ross said.
"We might be future teammates but they'll be out there to show that this is what I'm capable of doing and there are probably a few of our guys wanting to prove their futures as well."
One player Ross was looking forward to playing is former teammate Korbin Sims.
The Fijian international departed the club during pre-season in January to reunite under Bennett in Brisbane.
"There won't be any sledging, Korbin is a good friend of mine and we'll probably have a laugh in running play but there won't be too much chat," Ross said.
"He will be fired up to return home and if he busts through the middle I'll be the first to tackle him."