Gold Coast Titans coach Garth Brennan hopes tough losses experienced by the club in 2018 provide valuable lessons for his developing squad for next season.
The Titans led by 14 points early in the second half at McDonald Jones Stadium, but Newcastle came surging back with three straight tries to seal the 30-24 victory.
"They have to start learning from these hard knocks that we have had this year," Brennan said.
"We are building, but I cannot use that as an excuse, we had opportunities to win that today and we didn't.
"We are a young side, but we have got some senior players in that side as well – some Origin players and some Test players.
"They need to start handling it better than they did today."
The team's inability to handle momentum shifts was the main factor for the loss, according to Brennan.
"In the second half the momentum they (Newcastle) had and the possession really hurt us," he said.
"I think they were completing in the high 90s (per cent) and had 10 out of 11 sets in the second half.
"We did not handle it well at all, we didn't handle the momentum change and came up with some dumb, sloppy decisions with the ball. There was no-one to blame but ourselves."
In round 11, the Titans were the team to pull off a comeback against the Knights, but the task of holding onto the lead became more difficult on Saturday after losing AJ Brimson midway through the second half.
But prop Ryan James said there was no excuses for the loss.
"You have to be able to adapt (to losing Brimson)," James said.
"Simple discipline plays like talking back to the ref, and things that you can take out of the game that shouldn't be in it.
"We could take away the majority of those penalties if we worked on it – so yeah we lost it ourselves tonight."
Brimson failed his HIA but according to Brennan he was sitting up and signs were positive.
"He's OK - a bit knocked about. But that hit was enormous, so it shows the courage that that kid has got," Brennan said.