After delivering their best performance of the NRL season to beat Brisbane, Newcastle fancied their chances against defending premiers Melbourne.
But the Storm instead gave them a lesson in defence, according to Knights coach Nathan Brown.
Melbourne scored seven tries in Friday night's 40-14 win at AAMI Park, and restricted the Knights to three, with winger Ken Sio collecting a double.
"The biggest thing for us is our resilience in defence - I think they held us up over the tryline four or five times," Brown said.
"From an offensive point of view, I felt we really stretched them a lot but their ability to be able to scramble or hold you up, as opposed to ours - that's a huge lesson for us.
"We made plenty of line breaks and caused them plenty of trouble but, before the game, they had three tries scored against them in the last three weeks so their defence has still been outstanding.
"We need to get more resilience in that area as, when we do defend well, we seem to get enough points to win games."
Newcastle skipper Mitchell Pearce said while the result was disappointing, he didn't feel it was a step backwards.
"It's a good chance for us to go back to the drawing board and work on some other parts of our game.
"Defence has been the highlight, especially in our losses, so it's a good chance for us to go and work on that and keep evolving."
Brown said Sio had a hip injury that would need to be assessed, ahead of next weekend's match against the Wests Tigers.