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Knights TV caught up with Jeremy Smith and Jarrod Mullen at the team’s recovery session at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra following Friday night’s loss to the Canberra Raiders.

Smith was one of a number of players to boost the team in his first NRL game after suffering a sternum injury.

“I felt pretty good and gave my chest a good test,” he said on Saturday morning.

The Raiders established a damaging 24-point runaway lead in the first half that made it difficult for the Knights to claw back despite a considerable amount of possession at the back end of the game.

“We came away feeling disappointed,” he lamented.

“Without the first 20 minutes in hand, I think we could have done a little bit better.

“There was effort, but we needed that at the start of the game instead of towards the end and it could have been a different story.

“All in all, rugby league is a great thing and we have next week we have the Titans and I urge all the fans at home to support us around that.”

The Knights welcomed back the team’s usual halves pairing with Jarrod Mullen and Tyrone Roberts both proving fit for Friday night’s match.

In what was the first hit for the five-eighth, match fitness was the biggest hurdle after being sidelined for more than 10 weeks because of a toe injury.

“It was pretty solid. I was blowing a little bit early, but when the second half come, I got my second wind and we got a little bit of ball too,” Mullen said.

“We weren’t defending all the time and we had a bit of ball."

Mullen expects consistency to be restored from the fact key personnel has returned to the line-up.

“There were a few boys back and we will be better off for that over the next few weeks,” he added.

“We can’t keep giving teams 20 to 24 points at the start and try to chase them down.

“We need to focus on starting well and that starts next week."

The Knights now lead into a Saturday match at Hunter Stadium against the Gold Coast Titans. 

“Every time we play at home, we want to put on a good performance for our fans and they are in dire need of a win just as much as we are,” he said. 

“It’s desperation stakes at the moment and any time we play at home, it gives you a bit of a buzz.

“I haven’t played at home for 10 or 11 weeks, so I’m really looking forward to it.”