Newcastle coach Adam O'Brien has described their insipid performance against the Warriors as "embarrassing" after the 36-6 loss put a dent in their charge to the NRL finals.
The Knights still held down seventh spot on the ladder after the loss at Scully Park in Tamworth, but O'Brien was more concerned about their poor showing than playing finals.
The Warriors ran in five tries to one, keeping Newcastle scoreless in the second half, to deliver the Knights' biggest loss of the year.
O'Brien said his team were guilty of too many errors in the opening 20 minutes which set the scene for the disappointing afternoon at Scully Park in Tamworth.
"And to back that up with some of the contact - they had 12 offloads at halftime which just showed me that we turned the footy over and then didn't want to get our contact on," O'Brien said.
"I don't know whether we looking into finals and listening to all that hype but it was a poor attitude.
"In that second half it they just poured through us - it was really, really disappointing."
O'Brien said his team needed to quickly address the performance if they wanted to be a force in the looming finals.
"It's quite embarrassing for us as a club to have that so we need to have some honest conversations in and around that," he said.
"If we want to get something out of the season then we need to make it happen, not expect it to happen."
The Knights were forced into their third halves combination of the season after Blake Green's knee injury, with Mason Lino, coming in.
Lino struggled to make an impact but O'Brien said he wasn't alone.
"I will have a look at the tape but the halves weren't on their own - there's a lot to look at."