The Newcastle Knights lament missed opportunities after an agonizing two-point loss to the North Queensland Cowboys at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.
After trailing the visitors for much of the match, the Knights fought tooth and nail to come within two points of the Cowboys, but a number of errors de-railed a comeback.
"Everyone's a bit frustrated at the moment. The effort is pretty good to give ourselves some chances," Stone said in the post match press conference.
It's been frustrating the way we have played and we've been really disappointed, but we did do some good things today and got ourselves back in the game when the Cowboys looked like they were going to keep clear.
“I'm happy with our resolve. The boys kept fighting back, but invariably we just kept shooting ourselves in the foot at the moment.
While a number of the Knights' outside backs contributed skilful tries, the Cowboys fired back by crossing the line one more time than the Knights could manage in a nail-biting match.
"There were a couple of soft tries in there that when you're in a contest like that it's important,” he said.
"You think of the one where JT (Johnathan Thurston) steals the ball off Kurt and I think (Michael) Morgan may have scored off the scrum, then just after half time there was another pretty soft one that went through.
"Even if we aren’t making some errors, our concentration and our consistency in defence is still a bit worrying.
"We need to win the possession stakes and we haven't done that for a while and errors aren't helping our cause there."
Stone finds solace in the belief the Knights can return to their early season good form that saw the team earn four tough wins at the start of the year.
"I think the difference between the first four weeks and the last four are that we competed a lot harder defensively and we made up for some of those issues in the first couple of weeks,” he said.
Stone believes it was poor decision making that cost the Knights valuable opportunities.
"Today it hurts us,” he said.
"I'm not going to point the finger, everyone is having a crack and trying hard.”
"Collectively if you couple the errors in and you put our defence together and you add a lack of a little bit of polish on some last plays, then we are making it hard for ourselves.”
A disappointed Kurt Gidley acknowledged the Knights’ inability to convert ample chances and assured the team is well aware where it needs to improve.
"I think the fight back in the second half was great because there were plenty of people that thought it was out of our reach. But we fought back though hard work and by running direct,” Gidley said.
“I remember a good on line defensive set at one stage which I think we scored the following set.
“I think we need more of those defensive sets when we have a team locked in their own 10 (metres).”
The Knights now have an extended break and return to face the Manly Sea Eagles in Round 9 after the representative round.
“Maybe to clear our heads and get away and have a couple of days off footy might not be such a bad thing,” Stone said.