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nib Newcastle Knights prop Josh Starling maintains they got a lesson in game management after the side suffered a one-point loss to the Cronulla Sharks in round five.

“It was a tough game, we tried really hard but didn’t come away with it in the end and that’s what we were disappointed in,” explained Starling.

“We were in with a chance to win the game and we let them get away with a couple of tries that we could have easily prevented.

“The way they finished the game and how professional they were is exactly what we’re trying to work to.”

Starling said the side needs to work on closing out games each week.

“We are disappointed because all those other games besides the one with the Panthers, we had an opportunity to win them and we didn’t take them,” added Starling.

“We should probably have three or four wins to our name instead of one.”

This week the Knights are up against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at home.

“No doubt it’s going to be another big battle in the middle, we don’t have a very experienced team and they’ve got a lot of grade A players, especially their middle forwards,” Starling added.

“We are going to have to be on our game again and try and match it like we did with the Sharks.

“They are so different and hard to train for because they have a lot of great ball players, a lot of great skill and a lot of big men off the bench, so we’ve got to cover all those things in the upcoming days.

“We know they can win games.

“They were down 7-0 with 20 minutes to go and they end up beating the (Brisbane) Broncos, which are no slouch of a team.

“We know that they can play and they can defend so we’re really going to have to be patient in what we do.”

The Knights take on the Bulldogs on home turf this Friday, gates at McDonald Jones Stadium open at 3.30pm, NRL kick off is at 6pm.