Connor Watson was brave enough to say what plenty of people were thinking.
After his side had given up six tries in 25 devastating final minutes in a 48-10 capitulation to the Sydney Roosters on Saturday, Watson declared: "It felt like we just gave up."
To the shell-shocked Newcastle fans who optimistically believed their side was on track for an upset when they trailed just 12-10 into the second half before Roosters skipper Boyd Cordner's try started the rot, that's exactly what it looked like.
There is no greater sin for a player than to be accused of giving up.
"We blew a few chances but when we got back to within two, I felt like we had the run of play," Watson said. "But they are a great side and towards the back half, we just gave them too many chances and got stuck down our end and didn't really get out and compounded that with errors.
"They've got guys like Latrell [Mitchell] and Teddy [James Tedesco] and Luke Keary and Cooper [Cronk] and Victor [Radley] around the middle and they just sort of tear you to pieces when you have to do too much tackling."
But conceding six tries in 25 minutes in such a big game?
"Yeah, it felt like we just gave up," he admitted. "It was really poor to be honest and just not what we expect from each other. I'm at a loss to know what happened. The coach asked that same question of us after the game but no one had an answer. They just got on that roll, it just sort of snowballed for us and just got worse and worse.
"By the end, to lose 48-10, it was pretty embarrassing to give up all those tries in that space of time. It was one of our most embarrassing and the last three weeks haven't been good to be honest."
Knights coach Nathan Brown was also at a loss.
"Parts of that became embarrassing," he said. "Not playing to the whistle. Even though they played faster than us at times in the first half we could've come in doing better on the scoreboard. When we got to 12-10, I thought ''this is going to be good contest'.
"That next little window of what happened is not what we've been about. Our right edge needed to do better than what we did. It's not going to be a nice review."
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The Knights missed 39 tackles all up with Mitch Barnett the chief offender with eight misses while Dan Saifiti missed six and Mitchell Pearce five. Pearce's attacking kicking game also fell short of his standards while the Knights failed to complete 10 sets.
"We spoke about everyone just going away and having a long hard look at themselves and see if their mind was there today," Watson said.
"We have to change something to turn it around because we are getting to that point of the year when our season is on the line. We have to go out against the Tigers next game and show what we are about because today, that wasn't it."