The Reserve Grade Newcastle Knights had a much-needed victory snatched away in the dying moments of Saturday’s match against the Newtown Jets.
While the Knights led for much of the game, the Jets came up with a try in the final three minutes to win, 22-19.
“It’s really disappointing,” coach Matt Lantry said after the game.
“The effort for our team has been there through most of the season, particularly in the last few weeks.
“It was just again some basic errors.
“To get beaten at the death after working so hard, it really compounds how we are feeling at the moment.”
Lantry was however pleased with a lift in the overall performance of his team.
“Defensively we were quite good and were really good with the ball considering the conditions,” he said.
“Our kicking game and kick-chase was just as good and really challenged the Newtown pack.
“There were some real positives in that light. The challenge now for us to dust ourselves off and go again against Manly next week."
Recent stability within the team’s spine has created more opportunities for the side.
“This game was the first time this year our halves, hooker and fullback were actually on the park together,” he said.
“It's certainly making a difference with consistency and you can see that in our performance."
While the result was hard to swallow, hooker Krys Freeman turned to the positives in the narrow loss.
“It was one of our best performances as a team all year,” he said.
“We took it too them well, but it was a few mistakes here and there let us down.
“Unlucky at the end but I think we had good effort.”
Freeman is thrilled to be back playing with the team after sitting on the sidelines due to an arm injury.
“It’s been a long four months off playing, so it’s been good to back and finish out the season,” he said.
Lantry sees promise in the consistency coming together within the side and believes a win is well overdue.
“There is a win around the corner and that’s all I want for this playing group so they can experience that winning feeling towards the back end of the year and take some confidence into their pre-season for 2017,” he said.
“Fingers crossed we can get one next week."
The Reserve Grade Knights play the Manly Sea Eagles at Cessnock on Saturday in Round 23 of the Intrust Super Premiership.