Newcastle Knights coach Rick Stone says an abundance of errors was the determining factor in the Knights' six-point loss to the Eels on Sunday.
“I'm a bit frustrated with the first half. We started off really well with a couple of decent tries and the game plan was going went well," Stone said in the post match press conference.
“I think we lost our way with the ball and made a couple of dumb errors.
“We could have made more of our field position and possession in the first half and possibly posted a few more points.
"We hung on pretty bravely in the second half we spent a lot of time down our own end.
"They scored a couple of tries from kicks and a pretty soft one from dummy half, and that was on the back of a weight of possession and a bit of field position.
"We can't complain, we had every chance to win the game.
"We came up with some dumb unforced errors when we were under the pump and usually we are pretty tidy.
"We need to improve our composure under pressure."
It is the errors over a number of weeks that has frustrated the coach.
"You can't continue to make the same basic errors every week and expect to be an NRL player and call yourself an NRL player," Stone added.
"There's certain expectations and there's certain limits of what you probably can and can't take.
"There's probably a few on the limit for sure.
"The last couple of weeks with making 14, 15, 16 errors in the game it doesn’t give you a chance.
"The possession ended up a fairly even share of possession, but I think we had 26 plays in their half in the second half compared to their 58 in our half.
"That put us under a bit of pressure.
"We did end up scoring two tries in the second half but it obviously wasn't enough considering the amount of field position they had."
Knights skipper Kurt Gidley said a major struggle was in gaining field possession during the second half while battling against a strong breeze at Hunter Stadium.
"It just felt like we were camped in our own half most of the time in the second half,” Gidley said.
"We took the two points and then Dane scored and the rest of the second half is a bit of a blur.
"It just felt like we were trying to get out of our own end.
"In the first half we built some pressure and got some repeat sets and then with the second half going into the wind it's probably more important to build pressure, get to your last plays and have a good kick chase at the end of it.
"I don't feel like we did that in the second half."
Reflecting on the game, Stone would have liked to see the side take hold of this advantage to build stronger platform before the break.
“In the first half we would have probably like to see us score a couple more tries given the field position and possession that we did have,” Stone said.
"It's just that composure that we need and that control and is still a little bit out of our reach at the moment.
“That's the job, you have to be consistent in the heat of the moment and your execution has to be good, your play selection has to be good and your kick options have to be good.
"That's why it's such a tough competition."
The Knights remain at home next round, hosting the North Queensland Cowboys on ANZAC Day at Hunter Stadium.