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NYC coach Troy Pezet has praised the U20 Newcastle Knights for battling challenging conditions to earn a win against the New Zealand Warriors in the first game of the season.

With the temperature at Hunter Stadium nearing 30 degrees, the players were pushed to their limit in the opening match of the season.

“It was really uncomfortable and it got hot, but they finished over the top of them which was really pleasing," Pezet said after the match.

“I more pleased with the way we finished than the way we started,” Pezet said after the game.

“I think Luke Yates, Danny Levi, Daniel Saifiti and Josh King, all our middle guys they tore away all day.

“That’s their job, but today was really uncomfortable and hot, but they laid a great platform for us to get a lot of points.

Pezet said plenty of time had been invested in developing team cohesion in the off-season, which reaped benefits on the field.

“We’ve probably been really side-dominant with the way we’ve put guys together this year,” he said.

“We have some guys who’ve had combinations through juniors and we’ve sort of stuck with that and that sort of shone through.

“When it got uncomfortable at times, the guys kept turning up for each other on the line, so that’s a bit of team spirit."

Meanwhile, Luke Yates was impressed his teammates' passion and willingness to work hard for each other. 

“It was good intensity and the boys did really well,” Yates said in the sheds after the game.

“We pushed through and I think we had the fitness over them.

“We took them to pieces in the end 15 minutes, so it was a really good effort by the boys.

“The biggest challenging was rising when the chips were down.

“There were three errors in the first half and they scored on all three.

“We have to learn to defend our errors better.

“The heat got to us a little in the end, but I think it worse for them.

Yates, who has trained with the NRL squad fulltime during the pre-season, stamped his mark on the game by scoring two tries in the second half.

“It doesn’t happen very often, but I’m glad to get over," he said.

Bryce Donavan enjoyed the chance to return to the field after a strong 2014 season.

“It’s good to back for round one and I’m really happy with the way the boys dug in the second half, especially with myself and about six others going down with cramps,” Donavan said.

“We really came together as it was something we talked about in the off-season and was good to see it happen out there.”

“We knew they were going to come out hard in the first 20 minutes.

“There’s still stuff to improve on but a good start for round one."

The fullback also continued his solid goal kicking form converting the majority of the Knights’ tries and nailing a field goal.

“It’s something I do work on and pride myself on a bit,” he said.