Knights lose Ross to back injury

Scans have confirmed Newcastle fan favourite Nathan Ross has suffered a back fracture as the Knights ran out 26-10 winners over the Warriors on Saturday.

The 28-year-old left the paddock after copping an accidental knee to his lower back and hobbled off before being stretched from the sidelines and taken to hospital.

The Knights provided an update on Ross's injury on Saturday night.

"Nathan Ross suffered a back injury early in the second half of Saturday's win over the New Zealand Warriors at McDonald Jones Stadium," the Knights said in a statement.

"He was taken to hospital for scans, which confirmed a fracture of the L1 transverse process.

Ross's injury will not require surgery and he is expected to be discharged from hospital on Saturday evening."

‌The injury put a dampener on a comprehensive win from the Knights who piled on 26 points and were in control for the entire 80 minutes. 

"I thought the first half we controlled the game well and in the second half to the Warriors credit they came out pretty hard," coach Nathan Brown said.

"We had to work hard to earn it but overall we're pleased. We were a lot better than last week."

After scraping their way to a seven-point victory against the Dragons the previous week despite coming up with 64 missed tackles, the coach was pleased with the side's improved defensive display against the Warriors.

"We were a lot better than last week [defensively]," Brown said.

"We had some individuals who weren't where we'd like them to be last week and had a lot of one-on-one misses but I thought that part was a lot better.

"And just little things like kick pressure and working for teammates – it's getting more consistent. Things are happening a bit longer and that's playing a part in results."

Newcastle's final two tries were set up by some of the youngest in the line-up with Sione Mata'utia and Josh King linking with Brock Lamb, before Lamb sent in-form back-rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon over the line with a handy offload. 

"[Lamb] 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 (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."

Brown confirmed the Knights had a contract offer on the table for Fitzgibbon, who is off-contract at seasons end. 

"He's been a really improved player for us this year, Fitzy, and I thought it was his best all-round game and got a knock on his leg but played through it which was great to see," he said.

"We'd love to keep him and have got an offer for him but these things don't happen quickly. We'd certainly like to have him around and feel his best footy is definitely ahead of him."