NEWCASTLE - Newcastle insist they are not frustrated they have left their best form until their finals hopes had been extinguished after knocking off another top-eight team during their current purple patch of form.
The Knights held on to beat an ill-disciplined New Zealand Warriors side 28-22 in front of 12,733 fans at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.
Newcastle led 14-0 in the first half and then 26-14 with just over 10 minutes remaining but were forced to endure several Warriors comebacks.
Boom rookie Sione Mata'utia scored his first NRL hat-trick and formed a dominant left-side attacking partnership with powerful centre Joseph Leilua.
The Knights have now won six of their last eight games.
Knights coach Wayne Bennett said his players had grown in confidence over the past eight weeks, but didn't regret leaving their run too late.