nib Newcastle Knights Head Coach Adam O'Brien fronted the media after our tough 22-13 loss to the St George Illawarra Dragons on Sunday.
A horror spate of injuries added an extra dampener to the loss with Mitchell Pearce, Kurt Mann, Tex Hoy and David Klemmer all succumbing to an injury.
The four tries to two loss was played in front of 21,770 fans at McDonald Jones Stadium, the biggest crowd at the stadium since the COVID-19 shutdown.
Here is what the Head Coach had to say:
ON THE PERFORMANCE
The Knights were handed their second loss of the season in their Round 4 game against the Dragons.
The previously mentioned injury toll didn't help the side as the team battled on with one sub for the majority of the second half.
The Dragons brutal defence got them the edge after the Knights led midway through the second half.
Coach O'Brien said fans have a right to be disappointed in the result but also praised his side for their resilience.
"I think the members, sponsors and fans can rightfully be disappointed with the scoreboard, but I don't think you can walk away disappointed with the character shown," O'Brien said.
"I told them I was proud of them, and at the end of the day in the last five minutes they put themselves in with a shot of stealing the game.
"To watch a guy like Daniel Saifiti play 80 minutes through the middle, (David) Klemmer was up around 58 minutes, Jacob (Saifiti) was 60 (minutes).
"They bit down and fittingly in the miner's jersey. The people who stand on that hill, I think they can walk away saying that was a really hard-working effort.
"The foundations of a footy team long-term need to be, dig in no matter what, that is what this town is about."
The Knights were left without their chief playmaker in Mitchell Pearce who left the field in the first half with a pec injury.
Key players Tex Hoy (hamstring) and Kurt Mann (concussion) were also forced off.
Coach O'Brien reflected on the injury news.
"He will have scans but it's the same one he (Mitchell Pearce) has done previously," O'Brien said.
"It's not looking good at all.
"Tex went at half-time and Kurt went straight after so we lost 7,6 and 1 all pretty much at half-time.
"Klem will need to have scans tomorrow, he jammed up his knee but he had to stay out there we only had one on the bench in the second half.
"This is pretty much carnage for us."
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HOPEFUL RETURN OF PONGA
In better news, Knights fans can be excited about the potential return of Kalyn Ponga.
Coach Adam O'Brien is hopeful his star fullback can return in time for the away trip to face the Gold Coast Titans in Round 5.
"We wanted a full block of contact this week (for him), he will get a little bit more because he (didn't play today)," O'Brien said.
"We just got to stick together and work really hard on our rehab and get the team back on the park.
"We'll reassess from there but I think he (Ponga) is looking likely."