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Newcastle Knights players.

Newcastle were unassailable as half-time leaders in 2020, but it was another story when they trailed after 40 minutes.

On seven occasions the Knights were behind at the break; they lost six of those matches and drew the other.

Only eighth-placed Cronulla (0-8) and 15th-placed Canterbury (0-13) had worse records in this area.

Newcastle, however, still snagged seventh place before being bundled out of the finals in week one by South Sydney.

There could be myriad reasons for the Knights' inability to fight back in second halves, whether mental, physical or tactically-related, but injuries to playmakers certainly didn't help.

On the flipside, Newcastle proved to be great frontrunners, converting all 11 of their half-time leads into victories.

Entering his second season as coach, Adam O'Brien will be determined to build on solid 2020 and foster a gritty culture.

If they can maintain their half-time lead conversion rate while peeling off a few comeback wins as well, the Knights could push into the top four.