NRL 2021: NZ Warriors miss chance to move into NRL's top eight with late defeat to Knights in rainy Newcastle

NZ Warriors' top-eight hopes have taken another hit, losing 10-6 in a low-scoring thriller against Newcastle Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium.

A late try to Knights forward Brodie Jones broke the Warriors' hearts, as the Auckland side led the round 15 clash until the final moments.

In atrocious conditions at Newcastle, they took the lead after the halfway stage of the first half through Euan Aitken, who scored in the 24th minute.

The centre pounced on a dropped ball by Knights fullback Kurt Mann, and held off the challenges of Dominic Young and captain Jayden Brailey to score the first points of the match.

Teen sensation Reece Walsh showed that he has another string to his bow by adding the extras with the boot, landing his first conversion in the NRL.

But the Knights hit back before halftime, as the returning Mitchell Pearce sent Lachlan Fitzgibbon over for Newcastle's first try.

Fitzgibbon then went from hero to zero and was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle on Kodi Nikorima.

The Warriors couldn't make the most of their numerical advantage, but still took a 6-4 lead into the break.

The Knights were the first team to score in the second half, as Walsh spilled a high kick straight to Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in an offside position, allowing Jake Clifford to level the scores at 6-all with his boot.

Walsh did his best to atone for his mistake, attempting to put the Warriors in front with a field goal in the dying moments, but could only watch, as his effort went wide to the left of the post.

But Jones' try sealed the Knights win late, condemning the Warriors to a third straight defeat.

The Warriors had one last moment to forget, as Ben Murdoch-Masila was sent to the sin bin in the final minutes, after hitting Hymel Hunt late to receive his marching orders.

Currently based in Australia, the Warriors haven't tasted victory since the 30-26 victory over Wests Tigers on May 21 in Gosford.

The Knights win sees them put pressure on the top eight chasing sides, albeit down in 14th on the NRL ladder, behind the Titans and Tigers on points differential.

The Warriors stay in 11th, missing the chance to leapfrog the Dragons, Sharks and Raiders into eighth.

With State of Origin II looming, the Kiwi team have two weeks to prepare for the Dragons at their Australian home of Central Coast Stadium.