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While the NSW Cup Newcastle Knights didn’t return to town with the two points after Saturday's battle against the Penrith Panthers, the side’s ability to fight back when under pressure breeds confidence for the second half of season.

“It was a bit of tough loss actually, we were pretty confident going down,” coach Matt Lantry said on Monday. 

“Penrith are always tough at Penrith Park, especially when they are sitting on top of the ladder.

“Our guys performed reasonably well and were down 10-0 early in the first half, but we fought our way back to lead 12-10 and just let in a soft try just before half time."

The Knights went into the sheds trailing 14-12 at half time, yet felt comfortable with their standing in the game.

“Again, there was a bit of a disappointing start to the second half and Penrith really dominated for the 25 minute period and it was 30-12 at that point,” he said.

“To our guy’s credit, we showed a lot of character in the game to keep fighting.

“We scored some late tries and got back to 30-24 with five minutes to go.

“To give ourselves a chance to snatch a draw was credit to the boys.

“I think the most disappointing thing was that three of those five tries were on the last tackle, so it’s a concentration thing for us to make sure we are hanging in there for one more tackle."

With the NRL and NYC Knights' bye over the weekend came the opportunity for a number of the Club’s emerging talent to get another taste of reserve grade football.

“Luke Yates and Danny Levi, they were good for us,” he said.

“Our two back rowers were outstanding. I thought Joe Tapine played well and so did Lachlan Fitzgibbon.

“They showed plenty of energy and did some damage on the edge and defended really well.

“The next challenge for those guys is to put back-to-back performances together against the Tigers on the weekend."

Up until now, the NSW Cup Knights have met some stiff opposition for the second occasion and move towards fixtures against teams that sit outside the top 8.

"We have been really competitive against all the top four teams," he said. 

"We have played now the Warriors, Penrith and Mounties all twice and have beaten Penrith and the Mounties and both side are sitting first and second.

"We can take some confidence out of that.

"With the run home, while we have more away games, we’d like to think we can win more than we’d lose and give ourselves a chance of finishing in the eight and nearly in the top four and hopefully we can see some top performances."