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Knights skipper Mitchell Pearce is adamant the pressure and expectation to get to their first finals campaign since 2013 is not behind the 30-point capitulation against the Warriors in Tamworth.

The finals drums have been beating hard in football-mad Newcastle.

Pearce is used to those kinds of rallying calls from fans and has the experience to not let it get into his head.

He's certain his teammates are following suit as well.

"It hasn't been an issue the last three weeks has it? So I can't put it down to that," Pearce said of the 36-6 loss to the Warriors at Scully Park.

"I don't know what the answer is to that otherwise I would have tried to turn it around before the game.

"We just weren't good enough today. It's not ideal but we've been good at backing up poor performances before and we've got to do that on Friday."

Shibasaki wins the kick contest

The Sharks will be arriving at McDonald Jones Stadium that evening full of bravado after their 28-12 win over the Cowboys.

In contrast, the Knights were behind against the Warriors by only a penalty goal, 8-6, in the first half but then lost the plot in the second to let in five tries.

Still they cling to seventh spot on the NRL ladder with four rounds left.

Pearce had one of those "scratch your head" kind of games where all his good was undone by a few poor moments.

Fancy footwork from RTS beats Pearce

He sets up Gehamat Shibasaki's try with a beautiful corner kick, busts out of four tackles to put a teammate away, but then lets Roger Tuivasa-Sheck step him twice for two tries.

The errors coming in waves for Pearce – he missed one tackle last weekend but four against the Warriors – summed up the Knights' up-and-down afternoon.

"The whole thing was just poor. We obviously didn't turn up today," Pearce said.

"We'll have to work out on Monday what the reasons were but we didn’t set the game up from the start.

"I thought we'd swung a bit of momentum back going into half-time by keeping the score reasonably close but you saw the second half."

In the end though the Warriors made 19 off-loads to just three by the Knights, ran for 1933 metres to 1233, and made seven errors to the Knights' 11. The penalties were 8-2 in favour of the Warriors.

"If you're making that many errors and penalties you're not getting much ball are you? On the end of that was our poor defence.

RTS leaves Pearce and Ponga behind on his way to a double

"I leaked a couple of tries and we just got rolled through the middle with a lot of off-loads from them.

"You can't win games like that. We've got to get back to our best footy and turn up against Cronulla with our best heads on, which we will."

Pearce hurt his left shoulder when Warriors winger George Jennings ran over the top of him.

"It got a bit of a knock – it's all right. There were some big boys out there."