Knights lament slow start
Coach Nathan Brown and captain Trent Hodkinson spoke to the media following Saturday's loss at Hunter Stadium.
Despite a lift in energy in the second half, Brown was unhappy the Knights didn't offer a stronger start to the game at Hunter Stadium.
"The first half was really disappointing...and the most disappointed I've been in a long time," he said.
"The Dragons are more known for their defensive capabilities and grinding out wins, so that was much more disappointed today than I have been in previous week.
"Our contact around the ruck wasn't great.
"If our middles did a lot better job, they would have made it easier for an 18-year-old bloke (Jack Cogger) and a bloke that's played three games (Mitch Barnett).
"We need Cogs (Cogger) and Barny to improve when there's a lot of numbers coming at them, but the middle has to help them a lot more.
"You want to win every week and we know at the moment, we are going through a real transition and tough period.
"If we lost the game in a really tough battle, we would feel good. But what we can't feel good about is that we out-scored them in the second half and had a decent second half.
"That shouldn't make us feel good about ourselves after what we dished up in the first half.
"There was some good things that happened to us in the second half but our first half wasn't to the level that we would have liked."
A highlight though of the match was a spectacular aerial try from Nathan Ross on the wing.
"Rossy is continuing to prove he is a first grade rugby league player which is great," he said of the 27-year-old.
"A real challenge for him at the start of the year was to find some consistency and he is really finding that which is pleasing for a player of his age."
Sione Mata'utia and Robbie Rochow, who returned from injury, also received special mentions from Brown.
"Sione Mata'utia plays above his years...and it was Robbie Rochow's first game back in a long while and he had some really good stuff," he said.
Joint-captain Trent Hodkinson agreed with Brown's appraisal of the game and lamented the team's sluggish start to the match.
"Collectively we shot ourselves in the foot right from the word go," he said.
"We gave them far too many metres and to top that off, when we did get the opportunity to build some pressure, our fifth tackle options were pretty poor and I put my hand up for that.
"It was a combination of things and they threw a bit of shape at us, but I think we made it look a lot better than it actually was, which is a bit disappointing in that regard."
The Knights will rally to make ammends when they travel to Canberra to take on the Canberra Raiders on Sunday.