Loss hurts Knights
It was a disappointed nib Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown and captain Sione Mata'utia that spoke to the media following Sunday's loss at Jubilee Oval.
After leading 28-10 at half time, the Knights were overrun by an experienced Dragons side.
“We’ve been beaten up a few times over the 18 months, but that was as disappointed as I’ve been,’’ Brown said.
“None of them boys have ever led 28-10 at half-time.
“They don’t know what it’s all about, unfortunately.”
A positive for the side was Nathan Ross’ switch to fullback, and scoring a hat-trick.
"Rossy's been training at fullback for a fair while now," Brown said.
"He trained really well last Origin period and we nearly did it last time and then to be honest I regretted not doing it because he did look really good there at training.
"I think we'll leave Rossy there now for the duration.
“(Dane) Gags had some beautiful moments in the centres, probably only the second time this year he got some really good ball.
“Unfortunately the second half we didn't play in the second half so he never saw the same action."
The loss was compounded with injuries to forwards Luke Yates and Lachlan Fitzgibbon.
"We've got a few bumps… Lachie's got an injury,” Brown added.
“Luke Yates is our worst one, he's going to be out for a fair period. He's done something bad to his AC (shoulder).
“We've certainly got a few blokes that are a bit wounded at the moment. We've got a long turnaround so we'll know a bit more on Monday.”
As the Knights look ahead to next round, they could welcome back a number of players.
“We're hoping to have Joe Wardle and Jamie Buhrer back next week so those two guys obviously if they're fit and young Sam Stone has had a few weeks off now to get his body right again, so he's going to be fit again as well so we've certainly got some options,” Brown said.
"If Jamie's all right and Joe's all right, they're probably two of our most experienced players and Stoney's been doing some good stuff this year, so there's three blokes who we're hopeful of having available."
Next up, after being away for six weeks, the Knights return to McDonald Jones Stadium to take on the Wests Tigers.