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Knights players during their loss to the Gold Coast.

Knights coach Adam O'Brien doesn't know what he is going to get from his side each week so it is no wonder he said it was "a huge concern" leading into an elimination final.

Newcastle had a shocker in their 36-6 loss to the Titans on the Gold Coast, a loss that has cost them a home final after the Rabbitohs stunned the Roosters 60-8 to leapfrog Newcastle into sixth position.

Instead of playing at home in next week’s elimination semi-final the Knights will travel to ANZ Stadium and face a South Sydney side brimming with confidence.

Rather than worry about the venue of next week's semi-final, O’Brien is more focussed on the mindset of his players.

The Knights have gone win-loss since round 15 in a worrying inconsistent run to the finals.

Match Highlights: Titans v Knights

"That is a huge concern that consumes a lot of my thoughts at the moment," O'Brien said.

"Moving forward it is something I need to address – whether it be in the summer – but that is not going to help me next week.

"Next week, hopefully following the trend, we are on the up. My number one focus is to fix that consistency.

"I don’t believe it has anything to do with player capability. It is between the ears."

Jacob Saifiti is on report for a crusher tackle on Young Tonumaipea and is in danger of missing the Souths' clash.

Lee juggles and regathers

"That was a really hard one. He was coming off the line and then all of a sudden they fall at your feet. He can't disappear,” O’Brien said.

"It is massive to potentially miss out on a semi-final from a situation that he literally cannot disappear from. Hopefully, he is going to be OK there."

Titans key men AJ Brimson and Ash Taylor outplayed Knights stars Kalyn Ponga and Mitch Pearce and O'Brien will need more from them next week.

"I don't want to single anyone out but there were certainly a number of guys that I felt needed a bigger contribution," O’Brien said.

The Knights were insipid with the ball in their hands, making just two line breaks to the Titans' nine.

They did not handle the Gold Coast's expansive style, which is a concern ahead of the Rabbitohs clash.

"The Titans threw a lot at us and had three length-of-the-field tries where we didn’t turn up," O’Brien said.

"We come up against a team that also does it next week and play a similar brand."

The coach is hoping the loss will awake his team from its slumber.

Knights utility Kurt Mann.
Knights utility Kurt Mann. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

"Wakeup call ... is an alarm I have heard a few times," O’Brien said.

"It is not ideal leading into finals, and as I said to the group we need to move on from that really quickly because that performance, and me carrying on about it, is not going to help us next week.

"We have to find a way to come up with a real plan to make the most of our season next week."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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