Although the traits of resilience and desire have delivered the Newcastle Knights back-to-back wins, coach Rick Stone says the Knights remain focused on making improvements.
The last two rounds have relied on gutsy second-half comebacks from the Knights, so the emphasis for Stone is delivering consistency from the kick off when the team faces the Gold Coast Titans on Sunday.
“I think our resilience and toughness has kept us in the first couple of games,” Stone told the media on Tuesday.
“We haven’t put good passages of play or good blocks of minutes together in the first half. They’ve been error ridden and a few penalties.
“We have to improve on that if we want to compete each week.
"There’s going to be a time when a good team does a job on us if we can’t do that a bit better.
“That’s the focus this week.”
Stone believes the Knights’ robust defensive efforts have been the key to minimising the effectiveness of both the New Zealand Warriors and North Queensland Cowboys in the opening two rounds.
“There were some improving parts in our game, defensively we were a little bit better again,” he said about Saturday’s Cowboys win.
“We only let in 14 points which gives you a chance to win the game.
“Attack wise we still have a lot to go and we realise that.
“We are getting to the stage that after four to six weeks we’ll be getting into some type of groove.”
It seems the playing squad has reaped the benefits from more a solid pre-season training schedule, performing strongly in warm early March playing conditions.
“I’m pretty confident in our own fitness levels. We have shown we can play right out to the whistle and to the 80th minute and can keep competing,” he said.
“We’ve come home strong in both our games so far, hopefully that’s a component against the Gold Coast again."