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Presser Points: Read what coach Adam O'Brien had to say following our Rd.7 loss to the Panthers

nib Newcastle Knights Head Coach Adam O'Brien fronted the media after his side's gritty 24-6 loss to the Penrith Panthers on Thursday night.

The Panthers were clinical in their performance scoring four tries to one to continue their stretch at the top of the ladder.

The loss is the Knights fourth of the season and Coach O'Brien praised his side's effort but was disappointed in a few key areas.

"I thought if we had that type of scramble and resolve towards our defence, I don't think we're sitting in the ladder position we are, we pick up a couple of games," O'Brien said.

"We put up a good fight tonight but disappointing (on the loss).

"We got done on a couple of plays that we defended all week at training, we knew they were coming.

AOB: What went wrong, defensive pride and injury updates

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"I guess when you're a team full of confidence with minimal changes, it's much easier to fall into your shapes and plays and I thought (the Panthers) did that well.

"We weren't as polished as the opposition and that is where we need to get to.

The Knights were in the game for the majority of the match albeit with the Panthers dominating possession.

A breakaway Starford To'a try just before half-time had the match evenly poised.

To'a with the big don't argue on Edwards

The Panthers wore down the Knights with high completions and eventually wrapped the game up in the second half.

Penrith stretched their winning run this season to seven matches and to 22 regular season wins.

Coach O'Brien gave credit to the opposition for their victory.

Highlights: Tough night for Newcastle as Penrith go 7/7

"They nailed their plays and they are a very good footy team," O'Brien said.

"They enjoy winning at the moment.

"We showed a tonne of effort but ultimately got done on some plays."

Knights fan can get excited about the potential return of two key players.

Coach O'Brien provided an update on Edrick Lee and Lachlan Fitzgibbon and said they are both nearing game-time.

"We're a chance to get Edrick back (next week)," O'Brien said.

"Lachy Fitzgibbon will be back, these two are the ones who are closest.

"He will only bolster the stocks through there and we'll make that decision next week."