Head coach Nathan Brown has appraised the Newcastle Knights' Round 21 match against the Manly Sea Eagles and assures the team’s young players have already taken plenty away from the loss.
A major fundamental to evade the side was a high-energy start, which allowed Manly to pile on early points at Brookvale Oval.
“I would have rather us start the game better and die than have everyone say you won the second half or fought back well in the second half,” Brown told the media on Tuesday.
“It was pleasing not to have a far bigger score put on us and there were some certain people who contributed to handling Manly a little bit better.
“At the end of the day I’d like us to get some principles we had been doing pretty well up until the weekend, and as far as our defence goes, to just be putting ourselves in the contest a little better.”
While falling short of their set standards, Brown has plenty of hope, with each loss, young developing players are soaking in valuable lessons.
“A couple of individuals I thought had parts of their game they have been working at which improved which is pleasing,” he said.
“Every week is a lesson for all of the younger guys.
“There are some good lessons for them and when they watch their video, there’s plenty of learning.”
He explained the loss of more experienced competitors inevitably makes the job more difficult for NRL newcomers.
“Losing Sione Mata’utia and Robbie Rochow in particular, those two guys are two of our most tidy defensive players and when we put a group of people together who maybe are still learning to get the basics right, maybe that got us exposed a bit on the weekend,” he added.
“In saying that, we’ve also seen games where people who didn’t do well on the weekend have done really well.
“It’s just a challenge to get that consistency.
“To be a good first grade player, you want your good and bad to be close together.
“When you get the good and bad closer together you get far more consistent performances.”
The search for such consistency begins again on Sunday against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Hunter Stadium.