Newcastle Knights Chris Houston, Akuila Uate and Kade Snowden spoke to Knights TV in the sheds after Saturday’s two-point loss to the North Queensland Cowboys at Hunter Stadium.
Uate expressed his frustration over the defeat, but vowed the Knights would pick themselves up and come back stronger after the break.
“Everyone hates chasing points, but in the end we just couldn’t control the ball,” Uate said.
“We didn’t get the two points at the end. It was disappointing and we are frustrated.
“All we need to do now is stick together.
“We have this week off and I think that’s what we needed.
“We need to come back strong, train well, keep our heads up and keep going forward."
After beating the Cowboys in Round 2, the Knights were aware of the challenge they were about to come up against in a hungry North Queensland side.
“I think we went all right, but we just didn’t stick,” he said.
“They have Johnathan Thurston and their forwards just turn up.
“I think we did great. It was just little errors that we come up with and we didn’t control it at the end there."
Meanwhile Chris Houston drew positives from the fact the Knights managed to claw themselves back into the game and just inches away from a win.
“We did well to fight back there and I thought we were still a chance right to the end," he said.
"I suppose basic errors have been hurting us a bit, but we showed a bit of character and can take a few good things out of that game as well.
"We knew what we were up against there today and we showed a bit of character but we were unlucky.
"They have two Australian props and obviously the best halfback (Thurston) in the game, if not the world at the moment.
"When they have that much ball, it created opportunities for them and they put on some nice tries."
Houston, who topped the Knights’ tackle count with 47 tackles, scored his third try in five rounds when he squeezed past three of the Cowboys' defenders after hitting a magnificent ball from five eighth Jarrod Mullen.
“I’ve got a few more than I got last year already in the season,” he said about the try.
“(Jarrod) Mullo has been great giving me some good ball.
“I’ve enjoyed playing back row and Craig (Sandercock) Bedsy (Buderus) and (Rick) Stoney are coming up with some good attacking plays, which are helping as well."
The veteran Knight was privileged to play the Round 8 match on ANZAC Day and said the commemorative service held before kick off was a moving experience he’ll always remember.
“It’s a such a special day for Australia and for us to reflect on what all servicemen have done to provide us with this great country we live in now,” he said.
“When the Last Post was playing, it was pretty emotional out there.
“Even though we didn’t get the win, I hope we did them proud.”
While the players are looking forward to a break from the physicality of training and games, Houston says the team plans to return with the right attitude to turn the season around.
“I think we have a few days off now and a bit of rest to get the bodies right," he said.
“We need to get back on the job, because regardless of how teams are going on the table, there’s not a great deal between them and we’re going to have to come back after this loss very quickly."
A skillful North Queensland pack wasn’t the only battle for prop Kade Snowden at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.
After a week of wild weather, Newcastle put on a show of sunshine for the 2pm kick off.
“In the first half the heat was really bad and it knocked us around a bit,” Snowden said
The recently selected Country Origin representative considered the contest with the opposition as relatively evenly matched.
“The team we’ve been lately is staying in the fight. In the second half, even though we made a lot of mistakes we stayed in there and nearly came back with the win," he said.
“They had Australian props so it’s tough coming up against a forward pack like that.
“At stages they were over us and at stages we were over them so it was a good."
The 28-year-old was pleased to have the support of a strong home crowd for the match that fell on ANZAC Day, and the 100-year anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli.
“They could be out enjoying themselves and playing Two Up…but they chose to come here,” he said.
“It was a really good thing, especially after the weather we’ve had. They still came out to support us.
While Snowden will spend the week preparing for Sunday's Country Origin match against the City rivals, he expects the rest of the Knights squad to embrace the break.
“Everyone’s just going to get away from football a bit, clear their heads and get injuries right and will get ready for next week," he said.