It was a performance that encapsulated everything new Knights coach Adam O'Brien needs to fix if the club is to become a force in the NRL.
The 54-10 thrashing by the Penrith Panthers put an embarrassing fullstop on a season that promised so much but delivered so little for the Knights.
Yes, they were already out of finals contention heading into this final round game but still had personal pride and a shot at finishing as high up as ninth on the ladder at stake. But once again, their mental frailties and total lack of resilience resurfaced again, allowing Nathan Cleary and his Panthers to run riot after another heartless display.
Cleary finished with a club record 34-point haul from four tries and nine goals on a day the home side also farewelled their other playmaker James Maloney in style.
Not surprisingly, interim Knights coach Kristian Woolf pinpointed his side's attitude to defence as the most disappointed feature of his side.
"We let in 50-something points," he said.
"Your defence is where you show your commitment to each other and it was pretty obvious early, even though we were in the contest, they were hitting a bit harder than we were and getting off their line harder than we were. Once things became tough, we weren't real committed tonight."
Woolf said it mirrored several other performances this year.
"It's definitely a reflection of our season,'he said.
"We've have had some periods where we have shown what we are capable of and played with some real energy and defended really well and shown that commitment to one another.
"But at the back end of the year, we haven't been that and I can't put my finger on why that is. I don't know that anyone at the club club can otherwise we would have fixed it by now.
"A new coach comes in next year and he's obviously got plenty to improve on and gets an opportunity to try and fix that."
The Knights gave up nine tries in the 44 point trouncing, their biggest loss of the season, eclipsing the 46-4 thrashing by the Wests Tigers a fortnight ago.
It saw them finish the season in 11th spot, a no better position than last year despite a superior roster.
New coach O'Brien will have a job on his hands to find 17 players next season with the mental steel to become a finals side let alone a premiership contender.
About the only bright spot for Newcastle on a dismal afternoon was a 60 metre intercept try to debutant Starford To'a in the first half that gave his side a brief 4-0 lead.
Cleary played a big role in his side's 18-4 halftime lead, scoring two individual first half tries through some paper-thin Knights defence.
But after the Knights got back into the contest early in the second half with a try to Herman Ese'ese, the carnage started. At one stage, Penrith scored four tries in eight minutes.
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