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Even stats guru David Middleton struggles to remember the last time a Newcastle Knights’ side was so badly affected by injury to key players.

Middleton is a walking and talking encyclopedia on all things rugby league, but he says last Saturday’s injury-marred match against the Penrith Panthers was something else.

In a brutal affair, the Club lost Darius Boyd to a hamstring strain, while both Kurt Gidley and Tyrone Roberts were forced from the field with concussion.   

With four of the Club's best players on the bench, if you include injured five-eighth Jarrod Mullen (hamstring), the team struggled for cohesion in attack. 

It's a predicament that left Newcastle with just one player on the bench, forcing coach Wayne Bennett to play forwards Alex McKinnon at five-eighth and centre and Beau Scott at centre to cover in defence. 

Taking all that into consideration, it’s amazing the Knights’ restricted the Panthers to just 30 points. It's also important to point out that any team in the NRL would have struggled with their all-important spine of 1, 9 and 7 on the sideline. 

Yet as tough as last Saturday's injury-toll against the Panthers was, there are some positives to consider moving forward.

Cast your mind back to round 3, 2011 against Manly at Brookvale Oval and the Knights' copped a similar injury toll to Saturday's at Penrith.    

In fact, on this particular day the Club also ended up with just one player on the bench following injuries to Ben Rogers, Cameron Ciraldo, Zeb Taia, Beau Henry and Richie Fa'aoso.

With that many players on the sideline injured, Newcastle battled to remain competitive and ended up losing the game 26-12.

At the time it seemed like the world was ending on the back of such an injury toll, but despite the setback the Knights’ showcased enormous fighting spirit to rally and qualify for the finals in eighth position.

Sure it was a different year and with not as many big name players implicated, but it's also historical proof that the Club has and can overcome injury setbacks.   

Injuries are a part of the game and it's why coach Wayne Bennett remained positive with his side's application despite their 30-8 loss against the Panthers.    

"It (the injuries) wasn't what we wanted, but it happened so we can't do anything about it and change that," Bennett said after the game. 

"But I was elated with their effort. 

"We can fix the things that happened today with a bit more luck, but I just thought they stuck at it tremendously there and didn't deserve to get beaten by 30-odd points with the amount of effort they put in. 

"We had a pretty poor first half with the ball, but we tackled great and in the second half we were just up against it, but I thought they stayed at it well." 

It's a resilience the Knights' have always displayed in their proud history and they'll need to do it again in 2014.