Hard work is starting to pay off for the NYC Newcastle Knights as they sit in fourth place on the ladder after four consecutive wins.
Coach Todd Lowrie admits the Round 13 clash with the Melbourne Storm on the Sunshine Coast was a close encounter that they were able to grind out.
“It was a close match,” commented Lowrie on the 27-20 scoreline.
“I felt we were in control for most of the match but the Storm didn’t let us kick away, they hung around.
“To our guys’ credit, they just did what they needed to do to win.”
Lowrie says the early part of the match tested his young side.
“We lost a couple of blokes,” he said.
“We lost Jack Johns and Eddy Tuilotolava in the first half, so we were down to 15 men about 20 minutes in, but it was a pretty good effort by the team.
“Some guys had to play a bit longer minutes than they’re used to.
“Henry Penn went on to the edge and played a bit longer than he has done in the last few weeks so it went really well.
“It was a good team performance where everyone had to dig in.”
The Under 20s coach said they also had to contend with some unfavourable conditions.
“It was a nice day to look at but we were running into a really strong wind in the first half," he added.
“It was a big effort because we then turned a corner coming into the second half and we put a few points on.”
Lowrie feels the result was well deserved.
“Our guys have been doing pretty well over the last month or so, it’s good for them,” said Lowrie.
“It is a good reward for the training they are doing.”
However, with every win, the NYC coach believes there comes a chance for improvement.
“Our ball control was a little bit down on what it has been, which is something I have been talking about for a few weeks,” explained Lowrie.
“Defence was really good but I think our ball control needed to be better.”
Next up, the young Knights take on the Manly Sea Eagles at Lottoland on Friday afternoon.