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"Photo: Paul Barkley / Melba Studios "

Emotions were overflowing on Sunday as Alex McKinnon returned home for the first time since his injury to be at Hunter Stadium for the RiseForAlex Round. 

The Knights were disappointed to be out-done by the Titans 22-8, especially given the special occasion. 

“It wasn’t the result we wanted, especially for Macca being here,” Tyrone Roberts lamented.

“We just need to concentrate on the little things like the errors and completing sets.

“We need to get the off loads under wrap and just staying tight. 

“I’m sure we’ll work on the little things during the week."

The 23-year-old played his part in adding points for the Knights with a try in the corner from dummy half. 

The Knights were forced to readjust after a number of players were injured during the game, including Kurt Gidley, who suffered a groin strain and didn’t return in the second half. 

“I’m sure everyone responded really well to the injuries,” Roberts said. 

The Knights now look forward to a quick turn around with a redemption match against the Sydney Roosters on Friday night at home.

“It’s a short turn around so the boys will look after injuries and will be back out there Friday night," Roberts assured. 

“Hopefully we’ll see the crowd out there to support us again.

“I can’t wait, we’ll work on the little things throughout the week and come Friday we’ll be all switched on and ready to go.”

Roberts was proud to see the Newcastle community get behind McKinnon at Hunter Stadium. 

“It was a great feeling seeing the crowds come out and the concerts out the front," he said.

“It’s good to see Macca come back out and I’m sure next week we’ll expect the same thing because that’s what Newcastle is all about."

Dane Gagai echoed Roberts’ feeling of disappointment to not come up with a win for their teammate and the community, but vowed the team would work hard to rectify small errors coming into Round 20.

“It obviously wasn’t the result we wanted,” Gagai said. 

“It makes it especially harder being the occasion it was. 

“We’ll just be looking forward to going out and doing our job next week.

“We just have to make sure we execute and take the opportunities when they present themselves."

Gagai too was humbled by the number of people who united for McKinnon at Sunday's game.

“It was definitely overwhelming seeing the support everyone showed for Alex,” he said.

“When everyone started chanting Alex’s name before the game, it was a really special moment and I was just grateful to be a part of it. 

“To see Alex back in Newcastle and to have him lead us out, it was definitely a tear jerker."

The Knights play the Sydney Roosters at Hunter Stadium on Friday, July 25 at 7.30pm. Click HERE to buy your ticket.