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It was a tough day at the office for the NYC Newcastle Knights on Friday as they lost key players, including forward Sam McIntyre and halfback Hayden Loughrey, to a HIA and injury.

Coach Todd Lowrie admits it contributed to their 50-12 loss to the Parramatta Eels, but ultimately it was their performance that wasn’t up to scratch.

“We lost a few key players before half time which was always going to make it hard, but we just didn’t perform well,” stated Lowrie.

“We seem to be having trouble in Sydney this year and again, it was no different.

“We put ourselves in a good position three quarters of the way through the first half but then they got a bit of ball back and we just couldn’t hold on.

“We had to make a few swaps but we didn’t really have a lot of guys playing out of position but it seemed to certainly hurt us a lot.”

The Under 20s coach believes they were right in the game but let it blow out in the second half.

“We were dead set in the game and I think we were in front, but then we lost a few guys, completely lost our way and ended up getting a flogging,” explained Lowrie.

“Probably why we’re so disappointed after the game is because Parramatta were only one point in front of us.

“If we had got the win, we would’ve jumped them and put ourselves in a good position but our destiny for this year is in our own hands.”

This week the Knights will come up against the Melbourne Storm, who are sitting in 13th spot.

“It will be tough, they’re fighting their way,” Lowrie said.

“They have to win all their games to get some chance so they’ll be tough.

“They were tough early on in the year when we played them so I’m not expecting anything different.”