A disappointed Jaelen Feeney admits it was hard to see the game slip away as the St George Illawarra Dragons staged a comeback to win at Kogarah on Sunday afternoon.
“There is a down-buzz in the group, we were disappointed and we should be disappointed,” Feeney stated.
The nib Newcastle Knights halfback says he can’t put the loss down to one thing in particular.
“Their offloads definitely cost us and we couldn’t stop the roll once they started,” Feeney explained.
“If we could’ve just stopped their momentum a bit earlier then we probably could have scraped away with a win at the end.
“A game is never over until it’s over; I think instead of holding onto the lead, we should have tried to make that lead bigger.”
The 21-year-old believes the team could’ve put more points on the Dragons when they were vulnerable.
“They defended a lot in that first half but that’s a learning curve and I was disappointed how we lost and how we handled the second half,” Feeney commented.
“With more experienced players in those big moments, they do step up.”
Like the team’s effort, the Knights halfback preferred his performance in the first half.
“I got my hands on the ball a lot more, put in a couple of line breaks and a couple of try assists,” Feeney said.
“I am happy with my first half but very disappointed in my second half and in the outcome."
Not to dwell on the result, Feeney is looking ahead to the clash with the Wests Tigers this Sunday for the Voice for Mining Family Day.
“We got them last year at this round and I think we can do the same again,” he said.
“They have a quality outfit with some good players but we need to build on what we did well on the weekend and put in a solid 80-minute performance.
“We know we can put points on, we just need to defend the lead and play that same style of footy in the second half.”
Feeney fondly remembers the encounter with the Tigers last year, being his first NRL win.
“I was in the centres, a new position and first time there,” smiled Feeney.
“James Tedesco... was carving up all sides of the field.
“I took a lot of confidence that we could stop him that day and hopefully we can stop him this weekend.”
The Knights return home to McDonald Jones Stadium after a long six-week break.
“We haven’t been at home in a while and the fans always do turn up,” Feeney stated.
“They are definitely on our side and I’m hoping for a big crowd.
“When they get behind us, we play a lot better football and I’m thankful they are there every home game.”
The Knights take on the Tigers this Sunday afternoon at McDonald Jones Stadium.