Lack of possession hurts Knights

Coach Nathan Brown and captain Trent Hodkinson spoke to the media following Monday's loss at Mount Smart Stadium with both agreeing a lack of possesion in the second half damaged the Newcastle Knights' chance of a win. 

"It was definitely our best first half of footy and we actually went in and were equal," Brown said. 

"In the second half we never had any possession.

"We had a fair number of play one errors from kicks which makes it hard for any team. 

"When we maintain 50/50 possession we seem to play some decent footy and we are right in there. 

"When we don't maintain possession and don't manage to get the ball back, we don't compete well at all." 

It was a lack of time with the ball that Trent Hodkinson also agreed disadvantaged the Knights. 

"We struggled to build pressure and get any bit of the footy. They had it for a long period of time and took advantage of it and capitilised from it," he said. 

"That definitely hurt. In the first half I thought we built pressure and went set for set with them. 

"I think that period after half time hurt us and they ran away with it."

"They are a big side and we expected them to come down the middle before they shifted it wide. As we saw in the second half they did a bit of damage when they were going forward and played off the back of that."

The Knights' defensive effort at times throughout the game, particularly in the second half, enabled the Warriors to pile on the points. 

"There were one or two there which were a bit embarrassing which is unfortunate," Brown said about the Warriors' tries.

"There were some one-on-one misses and you can't afford to have that. 

"There were some tough lessons for some people, but we have to keep on getting on with it and have to learn over the course of the journey to be more resilient when we are under the pump and to maintain possesion better for longer periods to give us a good chance.

"We do go okay when we go set for set, we just struggle when we don't have the ball.

"All we can do is to keep going through processes and for players to learn the basics of their position, look at the good things they do and look at the things that aren't so good. 

"They need to watch themseves when they are under pressure and under performing and watch themselves when they are fresh and are maintaining possesion. 

"They have to close the gap between the good and the bad." 

Despite the loss, Brown praised a number of players for outstanding displays on field. 

"The positive thing today is that Sam Mataora in the first 25 or 30 minutes was as good as any player on the field. 

"I thought Danny Levi was by far the best hooker on the field against a team that was dominating and Robbie Rochow had his best game of the year.

"There are positives to come out of it. The scoreboard is not good and the end result's not good, but there are some good contributions."

Jake Mamo was the major injury concern out of the match.

The Newcastle Knights travel direct to Melbourne on Tuesday to commence preperations for Saturday's match against the Storm.