Dylan Napa heads to the sin bin.

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has praised the composure his team showed while Dylan Napa was in the sin bin during the 18-16 win over Newcastle at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Robinson's men were leading 16-10 when Maroons big man Napa was sent to the bin in the 54th minute after repeated infringements by the Roosters.

Instead of letting the Knights back into the match, the Roosters dug in and actually extended their lead through a penalty goal while Napa was off.

"There is two reactions when that [sin bin] happens – there's either 'poor me', or 'let's do something about it'," Robinson said.

"You can see that the boys worked really hard, they had a great defensive set – they made some really good tackles and our attacking game on the back of that was strong.

"We practice that defending for fitness and attitude, as it is a good way to practice defending a man down.

"But I thought it brought us closer together in the second half."

Although happy with how his team responded, Robinson felt they should not have found themselves in that position.

"You see that weekly and there's usually time to get the arm out," Robinson said.

"If he ripped that out when the ball came out, he probably would have been sent to the bin as well – so it was a catch 22."

Roosters captain Jake Friend tried explaining to the referees at the time that Napa's hand was caught and he wasn't deliberately trying to slow the play the ball down.

"Dylan was telling Jon (Stone) that his hand was caught," Friend said. "He was trying to get it out, but some parts of the game you just can't get it.

Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell.
Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell. ©Paul Barkley/NRL Photos

"It is what it is and I thought the boys moved well when we had 12 men and there was some good efforts."

Napa's sin binning aside, Robinson was pleased with the overall effort to control a "stop-start" game that he said became a yardage battle.

"You never feel comfortable with an eight-point lead," he said.

"Obviously I thought there was some good kicking from us.

"I thought we were doing some good stuff, but just couldn't get to 14 ahead.

"It ended up being a contest, that's what it was, and it opened up a bit more and we got the two points by handling it slightly better."

The Roosters have moved to 9-5 for the season ahead of their round 15 clash with the table-topping Panthers at Allianz Stadium.