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Second rower, Robbie Rochow spoke to his teammates in the dressing sheds after the Newcastle Knights’ 26-14 win against the Penrith Panthers.

With Rochow ommited from the line-up just before kick off, Joseph Tapine played off the bench after playing 60 minutes in NSW Cup in the match before.

“I was a bit tight and sore from the first game,” Tapine said.

“When I was struggling a bit, the boys just kept pushing me through.”

Meanwhile, Chris Houston played 80 minutes and topped the tackle count with 54.

“I had big shoes to fill, you’ve been playing well out there,” Houston told Rochow.

“Tyrone (Roberts) spoke to me really well and it’s good to get another win at home.

“I haven’t played 80 minutes for probably three years now and I kept looking up to the box to see if (Rick) Stoney was going to give me a spell and he was shaking his head.”

Meanwhile Jack Stockwell played strongly again off the bench, gaining 111 metres in attack.

“It was a good effort from the boys. Our goal line defence was on point and that’s what helped us in the end,” Stockwell said.

He was pleased with the effort of the Knights’ forwards, especially against a dominant Panthers pack.

“The Panthers have a lot of experience, I think our starting pack did well,” he said.

"(Kade) Snowy laid the platform and me, Patty (Vaivai) and Joey (Tapine) came on and tried to take it off the back of those guys.

“I think we did a good job.”

Spirits were high in the sheds after the match, which saw the Knights head to the top of the table.

“It’s always good after a win,” Jarrod Mullen said.

“We’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves, but four from four is obviously a good start to the year.

“We just need to keep building and get our attack right because our defence and scramble is really good.”

The Knights now host the Dragons in Round 5 at Hunter Stadium this Easter Saturday.