Knights forward Mitch Barnett said the team were “very embarrassed” after Sunday’s second-half collapse against the Dragons.
The Knights led 28-10 at half-time butthe Dragons packed on 22 unanswered points after the break.
HONEST: Mitch Barnett.
“We owe everyone; our families, ourselves, our coaching staff, our club and then the fans as well,” Barnett said. “We’re going to do everything we can this week to turn that around and put a strong performance in and hopefully get a win.”
It was the eighth timethis season Newcastle have held the lead at half-time, but only once have they gone on to claim victory – the round-10win over Canberra.
Barnett gave an insight into how Nathan Brown was feeling at full-time after Sunday’s defeat, which the coach described as the hardest loss to take this season.
“He said to us that our first half or 30minutes, was the best footy we’ve played while he’s been at the club,” Barnett explained.
“But then to do a complete 180and play some of the worst footy we’ve played, you could see the disappointment all over his face.”
* AFTER waiting all season for am opportunity, big prop Sam Mataora endured a frustrating return to the top grade on Sunday.
In 20 minutes against the Dragons, Mataora did not take a hit-up, according to NRL stats. He made 12 tackles as the Knights struggled to contain the home team.
* DESPITE a 21-16 loss to the Dragons on Sunday, Newcastle’s under-20s can potentially move into the top four with a win against Wests Tigers.
* WINGER Tom Hughes scored a hat-trick in Newcastle’s 32-20 NSW Cup win against Illawarra. Eighth-placed Newcastle face cellar dwellers Wests Tigers at Cessnock on Saturday.