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Newcastle didn't beat Canterbury on the scoreboard, but coach Wayne Bennett couldn't be prouder of his players' effort in defeat.  

In the wake of the Club’s gutsy 16-12 loss against the Bulldogs on Saturday, a match the Knights led with just 10 minutes remaining, Bennett has called on his troops to bottle their courageous performance.       

From his vast experience, the veteran mentor knows that continual effort will eventually lead to greater luck. 

"That’s the way luck kind of does work," Bennett said in the post match press conference.

"The more effort you make, the luckier you get.

"So that hasn’t changed in all my coaching time.

"But look our last month has been pretty good, our last five weeks actually.

"We played a lot better than the scoreboard suggested against the Broncos, we won the week before, so we are getting where we want to go.

"I just thought our effort was tremendous and the guys did stand up.

"I thought we rattled their (the Bulldogs) cage a fair bit.

"We were beaten on the scoreboard, but not too sure where else we were beaten."

Bennett admits he thought the Knights had it won with only 10 minutes left in the match, especially given their strong defence.  

"Yeah I thought we had it with the time clock running down," he says.

"We were defending well and making a lot of good decisions in defence, so it was getting hard for them to score.

"We had the two-point lead and we were just hoping that would get you home."

The Bulldogs sealed the win with a controversial try to prop Aiden Tolman, who pounced on a ball in the in-goal after team-mate Corey Thompson got a touch on the football. 

In the end, the video referee ruled a try after deeming that Thompson had knocked the ball backwards.

Bennett refused to complain about the final decision.

"It was a difficult one and we are not playing with a lot of luck at the moment, so we don’t expect those decisions to go with you when you’re not playing with a lot of luck," he says.

"So either way, I could have lived with either decision. I’m not blowing up about it."

Skipper Kurt Gidley was proud of his players effort despite losing the match.

"It was tough, it was pretty physical and probably one of the most this year I’d say," Gidley says.

"There was plenty of desire from our boys that’s for sure.

"That’s why it’s tough to take sometimes. You put so much effort in to a game and you get battered around a bit and you don’t get the result.

"It can be disappointing, but there are also some good positives to take out of that as well.

"Because we probably haven’t played with that much desire consistency this year."

Gidley will be hoping his side can continue that effort when they take on Penrith at Hunter Stadium in a fortnight's time.