Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown says his team received a reality check in their 26-6 trial loss to Parramatta on Saturday night.
Despite having confidence run high before the match, the club mentor admitted he did not necessarily expect his side to win, but did expect better than what was served up.
“If anyone was getting a little ahead of where we are at, we’ve soon come back down to earth pretty quick,” Brown said.
“We certainly have to do better than what we did.”
Newcastle opened the scoring through Shaun Kenny-Dowall, but from there it was a tough night on the scoreboard as the Eels ran in six tries.
Brown says the team was forced to defend for most of the match, due largely to errors that the Knights made.
“Look, it’s not a disaster we lost a trial match,” Brown said.
“I did expect us to do better and I’d be very surprised if the players didn’t expect themselves to do better.
“But on the other hand Parramatta are a very good side. So, it was good to play a side who we all are expecting to be up in the top part of this year’s comp.”
Combinations were always going to be a focus for the Knights, who fielded nine players who are new to the club.
There was a lot of attention on halfback Mitchell Pearce, and Brown says his star playmaker had a solid performance.
“On the back of what Mitchell had to work with I thought he had a solid game and from all reports from staff on the field he was the best talker on the field about how we had to get out of trouble,'' he said.
“So I’d say he was solid.”
Brown says it will be a tough two weeks ahead before the opening Telstra Premiership game.
“We will need to be just a whole lot better against Manly,” he said.