Reserve Grade Newcastle Knights coach Simon Woolford admits several disruptions and changes hurt his side in their 44-18 loss against the Penrith Panthers on the weekend.
The ISP side lost NRL regulars Brendan Elliot, Trent Hodkinson and Jack Stockwell to first grade while Tyler Randell and Josh King also got the late NRL call up.
Nathan Ross did come into the centres but Woolford said they had to source a halfback from the local competition.
“We lost Trent (Hodkinson) before the game and we got a young half from the local comp, Rex Johnson, on the other side,” explained Woolford.
“Joey Morris was playing more time in hooker than he normally does so we were really up against it.
“We lost all direction which you can understand with all the disruptions during the week and in the game.
“That is acceptable in a way but the lack of effort at times was the one that was really disappointing.”
The ISP coach maintained they were in the game early but it all unravelled in the back end of the first half.
“We showed last week under a bit of adversity what we were capable of but this week it was totally different,” said Woolford.
“It was like it got too hard for us and some of their tries they didn’t have to try hard for.
“It is difficult particularly in attack when you have disruptions and rarely get a session during the week where we’re all there at the one time so you’ve got to take that all into consideration but that certainly isn’t an excuse for lack of effort and lack of attention to detail.”
Reserve Grade now has a break with the bye before they take on the New Zealand Warriors at Cessnock for Round 13.
“Hopefully a good opportunity to get some players back, we have quite a few players injured at the moment,” Woolford stated.
“The week off will give the guys some extra time to get right.
“It is disappointing we don’t have seven days to make up for it but we’ve just got to get ourselves right physically and be ready in two weeks.”