Newcastle Knights Jake Mamo and Korbin Sims spoke about their Round 19 clash against the Melbourne Storm in the dressing sheds on Sunday afternoon.
With the side falling just a try short of the competition heavyweights, there were plenty of positive aspects from the game.
“I’m obviously disappointed about the loss but we really stuck it to them,” Sims told Knights TV.
“I have always thought the last couple of years we have been a bogey side for Melbourne and we proved that again today… that we can play well.
“It was the first time in a while we really pulled together as a team.
“It’s good to see.”
The dominating forward praised the support in the middle that created opportunities in attack for the Knights.
“Our middles worked together really well and it’s something we have been working on the last couple of weeks,” he said.
“I’m proud of the boys and the effort in the middle, there’s obviously still ways to go cleaning up some aspects of our game.
The return of five-eighth Jarrod Mullen also provided a lift for the side.
“He ran the ball really well and controlled the tempo of the game,” he said.
“I said to him when half time ended, how I was really proud of how he controlled the game.
“You wouldn’t know that he spent as long as he did on the sideline with a hamstring injury the way he ran the ball so that was good to see.”
Sims was also impressed by his teammate Jake Mamo who crossed twice during the game and again showed off his flair and speed.
“He’s a real handful out the back and is a really fast dude,” he said.
“I can’t believe how quick he can get to a space where the ball is going to be when he’s however far back.
“It’s great to see Mamo coming into his own as an NRL player and I’m just glad I haven’t had to chase him down.”
Mamo was equally disappointed with the tight loss, but was happy with the cohesion shown within the team.
“It was the result we wanted but it was a good performance,” Mamo said.
“We probably haven’t had enough of those this year so we have put two in a row in now and it’s really good.”
The Knights proved a test for their highly ranked opponent, which Mamo believes shows the side is improving.
“They are one of the best defensive sides in the comp and our forwards really stood up to them,’ he said.
“We can definitely take a lot of positives from it.
“In the back of your mind, they are a powerhouse side and that’s always there but we just take it as any other game.”
“They have one of the strongest forward packs, so we moved the ball and I think that worked against that side and we played a lot down their edges which was good from our outside backs."
He also talked through his two tries that entertained the crowd at Hunter Stadium.
"One of them was absolute luck and I just got the rebound and the other was in the dire stages of the game and I told Mullo to put the kick up and luckily I caught it," he said.
“It was family day today and there was a lot of people here.
"We put in a good performance and we could really hear the crowd.
"Hopefully when we are back here we will keep hearing them cheer because that definitely helps."