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Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown says his team fell down in some key effort areas in Sunday's loss to the Roosters but was otherwise philosophical about getting beaten by a very good Roosters team – however he was disappointed for playmaker Connor Watson who faces 12 weeks out.

Watson went off in the first half of his team's 38-8 loss to his former club the Roosters and did not return.

"He's not looking real good," Brown said of Watson's shoulder.

"At this stage they're thinking a shoulder op's going to have to happen which would be at least a 12-week injury."

Brown was otherwise not too distressed by the 30-point loss, admitting his team remain a work in progress despite two impressive wins to start the season.

"Where we were bad is just some small effort areas," he said.

"If there was a ball on the ground they got it, if they knocked it back from a kick they got it, if it bounced off the legs they got it.

"When we went through (their line) in the two occasions we passed it to no-one, so not only was our execution not quite good enough but in the effort areas I thought they were a little bit superior.

"With the players they've got we can't afford to let them be better in those areas.

Match Highlights: Roosters v Knights - Round 3; 2018

"I thought physically at times we handled them really well... we've still got some players coming through who are used to losing who don't play like winners consistently enough and they have to learn to win. That will happen over time but we'd like to think we could have made a better account today."

Brown said he would look to the more experienced players who have joined the club this year to help guide some of the younger players through the experience and find a way to bounce back.

One of those players is Origin and premiership-winning half Mitchell Pearce, who had some quality touches against his former club, including setting up his team's only try of the night.

Brown said Pearce had been good through the week and he – along with Watson and fellow former Roosters Aidan Guerra and Shaun Kenny-Dowall – handled the occasion well.

"He's been great, Mitchell, he handled it really well," Brown said.

"Tonight showed we've still got a long way to go which we knew before we came here but we'd certainly like to have done a little better than what we did.

"We've got some good experienced players in our club now that understand what winning's about and we've still got some younger ones who've played in a lot of games where that's not uncommon.

"The key for us, we've got to keep working on what's going to work for us as a club and certainly one of the things we want to be prided on is the smaller effort areas of the game, we want to get that right. We've had two good results against two good sides.

"Today we came here against one of the premiership favourites and we came up short."

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