Newcastle Knights' NSW Cup coach Matt Lantry says focus will now fall on rectifying errors after the side’s loss to the New Zealand Warriors in the first game of the season at Hunter Stadium.
The Knights built momentum well with tries from Josh Allison, Danny Kerr and Jake Finn, but conceded their lead after a second half flurry of tries by the Warriors.
“It’s probably a little bit disappointing in relation to the result, we have a lot to learn from that game, that’s for sure,” Lantry said.
“When you complete at 58 per cent, particularly in Round 1 in hot humid conditions, it’s always going to be difficult.
“I thought we played throughout middle played well in patches.
“Collectively we were also good as a group for patches within the game.
“I think the Warriors offered a big forward pack, they are decent with the footy and can offload the ball."
The warm weather also added to the Knights’ struggle to shut down the Warriors defensively.
“If you have to defend offloads on top of trying to make tackles, it just burns plenty of petrol,” Lantry said.
“In the first half we completed one of our last seven sets and then again in the second half, we actually put ourselves in a position to win the game and led 18-12.
“We completed one of our last seven, so it’s certainly the back end of each half is a little bit concerning for me.”
Halfback Danny Kerr was disappointed with the result, but enjoyed the chance to take the field for the first time in 2015.
“It was definitely good to dust the cobwebs off,” Kerr said.
“Round one is the game you want to win, but unfortunately we didn’t get it.
“We can only learn from it.
“They were big boys up the middle and even on the wing, but we stood our own."
One of the main areas Kerr identified for improvement was the team’s completion rate.
“We hardly completed any sets and that’s the most crucial thing coming out of our own half,” he said.
“We gave away penalty after penalty and put us on our back foot and that’s something we have to work on as a team.”
Meanwhile, Jake Mamo made his NSW Cup debut and believes the game gives the team an opportunity to now work on ironing out errors.
“It was a tough day out there today and we made it hard on ourselves with a lot of dropped ball and penalties against us,” Mamo said.
“That was my first NSW Cup match, so it’s given me a little bit more experience against the bigger guys.”
Next up, the NSW Cup Knights tackle the Newtown Jets at Kurri Sportsground.