You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Photo: Paul Barkley / Melba Studios

The Newcastle NYC Knights have received a timely wake up call that’s sure to motivate the team coming into the second week of the finals against the New Zealand Warriors after going down to the St George Illawarra Dragons in Saturday’s qualifying final.

The Knights approached Saturday’s finals match with confidence after beating the Dragons last week at Hunter Stadium, and a win that earned them the minor premiership.

However, the Dragons came out firing from the get-go and put the Knights on the back step to finish the game with a 30-22 win.

Jaelen Feeney spoke to Knights TV after the match and said changes in the Dragons' game strategy caught the side off-guard.

"They were definitely a more stronger, aggressive pack and came through our middle a lot more than last time, they tried to go around us," he said. 

"There were a lot of big game changes, and it turned the game on us pretty quickly.

"It’s a bit shattering being so close to the semis, and having that week off would ensure a little bit of peace.

"It would have been good to get the win.

"A lot of things didn’t go our way, there were some 50/50 calls we didn’t get which made it tough for ourselves a couple of times in the game.

"We showed the ticker to come back in the end, but I reckon we’re going to be pumped up for next week.

"We’re not going to go out and show the same performance we did today."

Feeney described this week's opponent, the New Zealand Warriors, as being elusive around the ruck.

"I know that we’re not going to show the same performance that we did today, so whoever we verse, they better be ready for us to come hard," he said.