New Zealand Warriors head coach Andrew Webster has questioned why Dallin Watene-Zelezniak wasn't awarded a penalty try during Sunday afternoon's loss to the Newcastle Knights.

The 14-8 loss, played out in wet conditions in the Hunter, at one point appeared to see Dallin Watene-Zelezniak taken out in the air as he leapt for a crossfield kick.

The match officiating team found sufficient evidence to award a penalty, but not a penalty try to the Warriors' back despite the Warriors' winger grabbing the ball in the aerial challenge before knocking on as a result of the tackle.

The tackle, made by opposition winger Greg Marzhew, came at a critical juncture of the game shortly before halftime. Instead of taking the lead on the stroke of the break, the Warriors went into the dressing rooms behind by two points.

The Warriors went on to only kick a penalty goal in the second half, before a 62nd-minute try to Daniel Saifiti would kick the Knights clear by 14 points to 8, which was ultimately the final score in Sunday's early game.

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Speaking after the clash, Webster said that while he was now unclear on the rule, it looked certain Watene-Zelezniak was going to score when he grabbed the ball in the air and should have been awarded a penalty try as a result.

“I don't know the rule 100% but if he's going up for the ball to catch it, gets taken out in the air and he's coming down to put the ball down, and he was going to score the try and the only reason he doesn't because he got tackled in the air,” Webster said during his post-game press conference.

“I don't understand if that's the exact rule, or if that's a clause for that particular play if you are attacking and catch the ball in the air.

“It looked like he was going to deadset score for all money and the only reason he didn't was because he got tackled in the air, but I'll leave it to the NRL to explain it.

“At the end of the day I thought a penalty try is if someone is deadset about to score and then they are not able to because of a penalty when they were going to score."

The latest loss leaves the Warriors - who made the preliminary finals last year - with a three wins, five loss and one draw record after nine games, currently sitting in 14th spot on the table, while the Knights have improved their record to four wins and five losses to sit just two points outside of the top eight.