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The Newcastle Knights in 2017. Stats has crunched the numbers to pin-point the area each team must fix in 2018. For the Newcastle Knights, losing the forward battle played a big part in their struggles last season.

Newcastle finished well back in most stats categories, as to be expected of the competition's wooden spooners.

With an inexperienced pack the Knights made the least post-contact metres per game (427) while also conceding more - 537m per game - than any NRL rival.

The post-contact metres index proved a fair reflection of a team's success in 2017, with six of the NRL's leading contenders in this statistic playing finals football.