In the sheds: Nathan Ross
Nathan Ross scored his first ever NRL hat-trick on Sunday, but the elation from his personal achievement was dulled by a four-point loss to the St George Illawarra Dragons at Kogarah.
“Moments like that I can look back on when I retire but rugby league is a team sport,” Ross said in the sheds after the match.
“I was trying to do my part for the team in the first half and we fell away in the second half and I can’t separate myself from anyone else.
“We are in it together, we win together, we lose together and we go through this as a unit... so even though those tries felt good, it doesn’t feel good right now.”
The 28-year-old, who made a late switch to the fullback position, admits there were several issues in the second half which saw the Dragons pile on 22 unanswered points.
“It is possession, it is holding onto the ball, it’s desperation and it’s wanting to win,” commented Ross.
“Teams like Melbourne Storm, they find ways to win, but at this point in time we are not quite there.
“It falls on the playing group because the coaches give us all the tools to use.”
Ross is adamant it’s the small areas of their game which need tweaking.
“We spoke about the first half before the game about stopping their offloads, we did that and they didn’t make line breaks,” he said.
“The second half we fell away from the little things and they started to get a few offloads.
“When you’ve got players like Josh Dugan and Nene Macdonald, who are great open field runners, you don’t need to give them a sniff and then Tyson Frizell came on and was an absolute beast.”
Despite the disappointment, the close margin has kept Ross hungry for another win.
The Knights utility says there would be no better time to get the points than this week’s clash against the West Tigers in Voice for Mining Family Day.
“It is a special round for myself coming from a mining background so it is going to be an honour to again don the jersey and give my all for Newcastle,” Ross smiled.
“It will be a very entertaining game and both teams will be looking to get away from last position.”