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Despite a loss against the St George Illawarra Dragons on Sunday, NYC Newcastle Knights coach Todd Lowrie felt his side were showing positive signs early.

“We were really good early in the first half... usually coming off the bye is a bit of an unknown,” said Lowrie.

“The Dragons are a solid footy team and we were playing some good footy.”

It was the Under 20s second loss in a row, although the side has managed to retain fifth spot on the ladder.

The Under 20s coach admits they lost their way in the second half.

“We didn’t complete many sets, gave away too many penalties and against a good side like that, we paid the price,” Lowrie explained.

“There was a period there in the second half where they scored those back-to-back tries and they had 10 sets and we had two, so they took all the juice out of us.

“When we did get the ball, we turned it over and when they had penalties, we gave the ball away.

“They had all the weight of possession and the guys just couldn’t turn the tables so we didn’t really give ourselves a chance in that second half.”

The Under 20s lost captain Tom Starling at half time, who received a late call up to play Reserve Grade.

“I don’t think it made a difference, Nash (Birch) who came on at half time for Tommy did a really good job,” he said.

“I certainly don’t think that was the difference, it was more just errors and penalties that really hurt us.

“They are a good side and that probably makes it more disappointing the fact that we showed we are a good footy team when we want to be.

“There was too much ill-discipline which really hurt us but back to training this week and we’re back home which will be really good.”

NYC are back at home this Sunday as they take on the Wests Tigers in Round 17.