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Warriors winger Ken Maumalo says he maintained finger-tip control on the ball and believes the bunker erred in denying him a third try in the 24-20 win over the Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday night.

The 24-year-old appeared to plant the ball just inside the chalk in the 66th minute, which would have given Maumalo a hat-trick. 

Referee Adam Gee ruled try but the bunker over-ruled saying Maumalo had lost possession in the putdown.

"I felt like I put downward pressure all the way with my fingers," Maumalo told

"But obviously they looked at it and overturned it. I know it doesn't really matter because we got the win anyway.

"I watched the replays ... they had another angle which they thought it showed it was loose. But I felt as though I grounded it."

Coach Stephen Kearney said he was just grateful the match didn't swing on that one try.

Maumalo double wrestles lead back for Warriors

Maumalo's tries in the 47th and 55th minutes got the Warriors back on track after the Knights led 12-2 at half-time. Maumalo now has 12 tries from 15 games.

"We've had a few games like that this year," Kearney said of the Warriors losing five of their last eight games before arriving in the Hunter.

"So it's nice to come out the other end of it to be honest. It could have gone either way.

"It's been a challenging month for us - a tough loss last week," he said referring to the 19-18 golden point loss to the Panthers.

New Zealand Warriors celebrate.
New Zealand Warriors celebrate. ©Shane Myers/NRL Photos

"We've had a couple of close losses over the past month. So to get the win is just a relief."

The Knights were not outright favourites to win because they were down seven regular first graders through injury, Origin and suspension.

But the Warriors had their own woes.

They lost hooker Karl Lawton (shoulder) after 14 minutes, Jazz Tevaga (ankle) passed a HIA but then had to come off limping, Bunty Afoa didn't return after half-time and Kearney lost centre Patrick Herbert in Friday's captain's run.

"So we were down on troops and it was a dog-fight tonight. The conditions once the rain started in the afternoon made it hard too and we were geared up for a really committed Knights, which is exactly what happened.

"My message to the boys at half-time was just to stick at it and things will turn for us."

Bunker overrules on field decision to deny Maumalo his third try

Kearney also agreed with Knights coach Nathan Brown that officiating was an up-and-down affair at McDonald Jones Stadium - especially with the Maumalo try.

"I've sort of given up thinking or trying to give my view on it. At the end of the day they're pushing the button and in the course of the last few weeks there's been a few howlers," he said.

"So what I think about it isn't going to change anything."

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