Injuries dampen Newcastle Kights' first outing of 2014 NRL season

THREE injuries during their 2014 NRL season debut have left the Newcastle Knights feeling sore and sorry.

The Knights lost to the Penrith Panthers 30-8 at Sportingbet Stadium on Saturday.

It was the team's worst start to an NRL season since 2005, the year they collected their only wooden spoon.

The Knights launched into their campaign without five-eighth Jarrod Mullen, who was injured in preseason training, and his ability to create tries.

This left Darius Boyd shouldering a heavier burden than usual.

Fifteen minutes in, Boyd limped off the field with a hamstring strain.

Beau Scott scored the Knights' first try, aided by Mullen's replacement, Michael Dobson.

However, just minutes after the Knights grabbed a 6-0 lead against the Panthers, Kurt Gidley was concussed in a head-on collision.

The Knights walked off at half-time with an 8-6 lead, but the mood in the change rooms was despondent.

No sooner than the Panthers gained the upper hand in the second half, Knights' halfback Tyrone Roberts was helped off the field after being knocked senseless in an attempt to block the opposition.

Knights coach Wayne Bennett said it was a "crazy" game and hoped things would turn around quickly.

The Newcastle Knights clash with the Canberra Raiders this Sunday, March 16, at 6.30pm at Hunter Stadium.

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