Reserve Grade Newcastle Knights coach Simon Woolford says his side were unable to recover from a collection of errors in the second half against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on the weekend.
Leading 18-16 into the break, the ISP side were held scoreless in the last 40 minutes as the Dogs piled on 14 points to snatch the win.
“We started really well, we scored a couple of early tries and things were going along pretty smoothly,” commented Woolford.
“Then we came across a couple of errors and a couple of penalties that we didn’t deal with very well and all of a sudden we were going try for try with the Bulldogs.
“We had a couple of opportunities straight after the break to go further in front and we bombed.
“We just didn’t really seem to recover from that which was really disappointing because in the game there was a lot of good stuff.
“When things go pear shaped, we’re not coping very well and that’s a concern.”
The ISP coach maintains they need to recover quickly from poor decisions.
“We have got to be able to deal with them and make sure we get back on track straight away,” said Woolford.
“We can’t dwell on errors and we can’t keep them in the forefront of our minds, we’ve got to wipe them and get on with the rest of the game.
“A few individual errors and lapses that are costing the team so we need to keep working on minimising them.”
Knights winger Kainoa Gudgeon scored a brace midway through the first half.
“Kainoa scored a couple of good tries and he had some nice touches but again he probably came up with a couple of things where he would have liked to have done better,” explained Woolford.
“As a team we’ve got to learn to defend errors and make sure we get a little bit more resilience when we’re under a bit of pressure.”
However, work from some of the big forwards earned Woolford’s praise.
“I thought Mickey Paea was really good, his second game back he played a lot of minutes,” added Woolford.
“He played the full first half and did a lot of quality defence and was probably one of our best.
“Pauli Pauli, three games back has been playing more and more minutes every week and is being more effective each game.
“I would imagine he’s not far off an NRL recall.”
The Reserve Grade coach admits the Intrust Super Premiership NSW competition is wide open at the moment.
“Apart from the (New Zealand) Warriors, Mounties and Wyong (Roos) the rest of them are pretty much up and down and even the top teams are only just scraping home at times,” Woolford said.
“It was only a couple of weeks ago we played a Penrith team full of NRL players and we got the job done and with all due respect to the next couple of opposition teams, they haven’t had the quality of players Penrith had but we’ve let ourselves down in key moments.
“We haven’t been able to recover so we need to make sure we get our own backyard in order and get ready to go this week.”
The Knights take on the West Tigers at Leichardt Oval this Saturday.