You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

While the Newcastle Knights fell desperately close to the result the team was searching for against the New Zealand Warriors on Sunday, coach Rick Stone has praised the side for its show of resolve when faced with adversity. 

Stone and Chris Houston spoke to the media following Sunday's four-point loss at Mt Smart Stadium.

"I'm really proud of the team," Stone said. 

"They got through their sets alright and competed pretty hard in defence.

"Their lack of concentration hurt us a bit.

"Some soft tries make the difference in close games where you get beaten 24-20."

With multiple mainstay players ruled out due to injury, the match was a chance for Carlos Tuimavave and Sam Mataora to make their first NRL appearance for the Club. 

Stone was pleased with the performance of 23-year-old Tuimavave, who took on a leadership role in the halves when Tyrone Roberts was injured after five minutes. 

"I think he went okay. He's not a noted kicker, but I think he did a reasonable job there," Stone said. 

"He ran the ball and set up James McManus' try with a nice ball to Tariq Sims.

"He was really proud to play in front of his family and friends and his old Club and I don't think he did his reputaion any harm."

Meanwhile, Houston was proud of the Knights' ability to hold on despite mounting obstacles. 

"I think they had the lead most of the game, but we were definately in the game and it showed right to the end there," Houston said.

"The first bit after half time two weeks in a row has killed us and that's something we need to work on."

"We probably knew early on Jeremy (Smith) and a couple the others boys weren't playing. In saying that, I thought our younger blokes were great today. 

"If they can keep bringing that effort when we get those guys back, then we are going to be close. 

"I think Sam was good on debut and Carlos had plenty of pressure on him losing Tyrone, but I think they both handled it well.

"It was also a big effort for Beau coming back from Origin. He showed a lot of leadership for us and is such a valuable part of our side."

With injury concerns still impacting the team as it approaches it's Round 13 match at Hunter Stadium against the Canberra Raiders, Stone says the Knights will need to again turn up with a steely detirmination. 

"Every week is important, but particularly when you've lost a few like we have over the last few weeks," Stone said. 

"We need to regroup and see how the injuries see what sort of team we'll put on the field next weekend.

"If we can continue to play with that sort of effort and detirmination, and can handle the ball and kick a bit better, then things will happen for us.

"We have to take some confidence out of that and believe we're on the right track."

Roberts' ankle was the main injury concern following the match and he will have a scan on Monday after the team returns from New Zealand.

"He has a mild syndesmosis strain... he will need scans and we will know more then," Stone concluded.