nib Newcastle Knights forward Mickey Paea made his first NRL appearance this season against his former club, the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Sunday.
Despite the disappointing result, he maintains it was great to be back playing first grade.
“It was a lot quicker than Reserve Grade but it was good to get another crack,” said Paea.
“It is good to be amongst the boys; I haven’t played a lot with these guys yet so it was good to get another go.”
The 30-year-old, who came on midway through the first half, said it was good to see some familiar faces.
“The Bulldogs are my former club so it was good to play against some former teammates,” Paea commented.
“I came on in a period when we were down so was trying to get that movement to the back.
“I wasn’t out there for long but I felt like I did my job.”
Paea admits going down in the final minutes of the match was tough.
“We were so close and you don’t get any reward for close games,” Paea said.
“Hopefully we can get some results in the coming weeks but that experience out there in tough games is definitely going to be beneficial for the Club and the young kids.
“From last Sunday to today, I think the boys got a bit of respectability back in the jersey.
“It has now given us something to work on going into the next game.
“It is a six-day turnaround, we’ll do a video review and get ready to go again."
Meanwhile, centre Peter Mata'utia was charged with tripping Bulldogs forward Raymond Faitala-Mariner on Sunday.
He faces a fine of $1100 if he enters an early guilty plea but risks a $1500 fine if he unsuccessfully challenges the charge at the NRL judiciary.