Knights v Warriors: Five key points
Brock Lamb bounces back with a strong month of rugby league to help guide the Knights to a comfortable 26-10 victory over an uninspired Warriors outfit that is sorely missing Shaun Johnson.
Knights go back-to-back
It's taken 712 days or 101 weeks and five days but Newcastle's 26-10 win was the first time the club has secured consecutive victories since August 2015.
Their performance against the Warriors was arguably their most controlled of the season after racing out to a 12-point lead before putting the game to bed with eight minutes left.
"I thought the first half we controlled the game well and in the second half, to the Warriors credit, they came out pretty hard," Knights coach Nathan Brown said post-game.
"We had to work hard to earn it but overall we're pleased. We were a lot better than last week."
Lamb goes from shank to medallion
You could be forgiven for expecting Knights five-eighth Brock Lamb to finish the season in a quiet manner after his involvement in Newcastle's shock loss to the Bulldogs in the final three minutes a month ago.
However the Maitland junior is coming into his own on the back of a tough apprenticeship in his second season of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
While the Knights have signed Connor Watson to play in the No.6 jersey next season, there is no doubting 20-year-old Lamb has got a future in the game.
"He was good today and kicked the ball well and took the line on a heap of times," Brown said.
"He scored a nice try and set one up for Fitzy (Lachlan Fitzgibbon) at a crucial stage in the game and I liked it because they had a lot of line speed and were rushing him but he was composed and made the safe type of play.
"Just seeing little things that they're practicing slowly starting to work and more consistently.
"With the recruits we've got coming it should create hope and faith we're heading in the right direction."
Individual efforts lacking for Warriors
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney admitted some members of the side played with minimal effort and he was struggling for answers after the 16-point loss.
The visitors looked disjointed and down on confidence after four losses on the trot prior to another defeat.
"There were some guys out there that were trying hard but some from others that were questionable," Kearney said post-game.
"In this competition you just can't have that."
Wooden spoon not Newcastle's yet
The unwanted race for the wooden spoon is still alive following Newcastle's fortnight of victories.
A clear motivation that is spurring the Novocastrians on, Brown admitted he would be cheering the Panthers to victory over the Wests Tigers on Sunday to keep the side's chances of getting off the bottom of the table a possibility.
Brown's men are now two competition points behind the joint venture on the Telstra Premiership ladder.
"We don't want to get the spoon, that's 100 per cent right," Brown said.
"But what's really clear is if you compare last year's spoon with this year, while it wouldn't be a good one to get, it's a very different one too.
"I'll be hoping Penrith play very well [against the Wests Tigers]."
Warriors' record without Johnson rising
The knee injury to Shaun Johnson all but ended the Warriors' finals hopes but their record without the Kiwi international is becoming worse by the season.
Kearney's men have now won only two of 14 games without Johnson in the side over the past five seasons – a statistic that is continuing to rise with the pivot missing.
With the chances of September football now over, Kearney confirmed team changes could be made in the final month of the 2017 season.
"I'll have to have a good think about that," he said.
"If I thought making wholesale changes would change things out there I would have made them weeks ago.
"It's been a tough few years for the footy club and we're trying to turn things around."