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James Maloney says the Panthers need to "roll with the punches" and get ready for the Knights, where he will meet his former Origin half and Roosters teammate in Mitchell Pearce.

Maloney and Pearce were the NSW combination in 2013 and the pair to help win the Roosters their 13th premiership the same year.

Maloney is still the NSW five-eighth and his new partner is Panthers teammate Nathan Cleary.

Despite winning the 2018 Holden State of Origin series, they couldn't rescue the Panthers from a 20-12 loss to the Eels in round one of the 2019 Telstra Premiership season on Sunday.

"It seemed every time we tried to get a bit of momentum it got halted by some error," Maloney said of the four tries-to-two loss.

"The errors weren't from trying to play too much footy or anything like that. It was individual or contact stuff. It's not ideal we didn't get the two [competition] points but we'll dust ourselves off and move on.

"It's not as if it was terrible and there's nothing good we can take out of it. We need to be a bit more composed."

Get caught up: Round 1

And now for facing the Knights with Pearce and Kalyn Ponga running things – two more Origin players on a roll over their own after beating the Sharks and with the backing again of the Hunter home ground at McDonald Jones Stadium.

"Newcastle have strengthened their side with some good additions up there. They are a side on the up with plenty of dangerous players like my old mate [Pearce]," Maloney said.

"We'll look at them but we also need to focus on ourselves and the improvements we need to make from this game.

"We roll with the punches and move on."

Nathan Cleary agreed the Panthers knew where they went wrong against the Eels.

"It felt good at times in that second half, when we started to get on the front foot," Cleary said, of the two tries to get the home side within two points (14-12).

"But we didn't do it for long enough. We had errors and penalties to disrupt things. That will be what we work on to eradicate in the build to the Knights."