A reflective coach, Matt Lantry has praised the determination of the relatively young NSW Cup side after a disappointing loss to the Ipswich Jets in the NRL State Championship.
Although the Knights were outplayed by the Queensland Cup premiers at ANZ Stadium, Lantry believes the incredible opportunity to compete on the big stage will put emerging players in good stead in seasons to come.
"You'd rather be a part of it than not and there's got to be a winner and a loser on the day," Lantry said.
"We probably left one of our worst performances until last. We didn't play overly well and made a few costly errors as a group.
"In saying that, we had our opportunities as well.
"If the balance of the ball would have gone our way a little bit more, it could have been a bit different, but full credit to Ipswich.
"They play an open style of footy, and probably what we did, we put ourselves under too much pressure early in the first half and made too many errors.
"From that, with the possession rate of 75 per cent towards Ipswich, any team is going to put points on you particularly in hot conditions as well.
The Knights made the most of their time with the ball and worked industriously in attack, but were disadvantaged by a number of disallowed tries.
"If it had have gone our way, it may would have made a little bit of a difference...but it wasn't to be," he said.
Lantry remained upbeat about the Knights’ performance and the achievements of the 2015 season.
"I think what’s important is that whilst there is disappointment, it doesn't cloud what we've achieved as a team this season," he said.
"We are still the NSW Cup premiers.
"I'm enormously proud of the whole group, all 50 of them who played this year, every one played their part.
"For the young guys to play with the maturity that they have this year, even though a couple of the young guys made some errors today, we can put that all down to experience.
"You can't forget the average age with the group is 21 years old.
"The future is bright and I'm sure we'll see this group back again in the next few years."
Meanwhile, Jake Mamo, who suffered a concussion during the match, has been assessed and continues to recover with rest.
George Ndaira also dislocated his shoulder and will undergo scans and further assessment later in the week.