Smailes said the defensive effort at times was disgraceful as the Pickers carved their way through the centre of the field to scored tries from kick offs and their opening two sets.
“I think it was a scoreline like an under 20s game that’s the first 36-all draw I’ve ever been involved in,” he said.
“It was poor to be honest with you. Our attack was good in patches but the defensive misses were disgraceful really.
“They scored two tries off their first two sets and they ran through us off kick offs twice and made 60 metres that sums up our defence today.
“They did some good stuff with the footy, don’t get me wrong for a second, but you can’t do it off the back of defence like that.
“It’s too tiring and too mentally draining.”
The powerful pairing of centre Shaun Metcalf and Marvin Filipo on the right caused plenty of headaches for the Pickers, even when they didn’t have the ball.
The Pickers stacked their defence to counter the strong running duo and halfback Liam Foran took advantage on three occasions taking on the line and spreading the ball to the open side where the Goannas had extra numbers and scored tries.
Pickers coach Trevor Ott said conceding 36 points was not going to stack up once the season starts.
But Ott did have the benefit of a 44-0 win in reserve grade and the knowledge his defensive combinations are only going to strengthen with more time on the field together.
A real positive for the Pickers was the form of utility back Steve Waetford in his first trial game this season, along with Knights under-20 forward Cameron King who came to the club from the Parramatta Eels.
“Cameron King was really good up front and that helps us compete with some of the bigger sides,” Ott said.
“I won’t get too carried away as (conceding) 36 points isn’t going to cut the mustard week in week out in the Newcastle comp.
“We’re still working on combinations. I won’t say I’ll be fully prepared for round one. As a football club we’ve got to make small steps, but for me it’s positive we’ve got some good players here that we can build on.”
“When you look at us we’ve got a few young guys in the mix who are becoming week in week out first graders and with the experience we’ve got we can only grow as a team.
“When we rolled up our sleeves I thought we could more than match them. I thought we got some dominance.”
The Goannas host last year’s runners up Macquarie Scorpions in their opening game of theNewcastle Rugby League season on April 16.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.