Warriors seeking answers after controversial loss to Cronulla

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
League,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 4 July 2018, 4:00PM

The Warriors are seeking answers from the NRL after a number of refereeing decisions proved costly in Friday's controversial 18-15 defeat to Cronulla at Mt Smart Stadium.

A try to Sharks wing Edrick Lee off a forward pass in the 77th minute robbed the Warriors of a one-point victory with the result seeing them drop out of the top four to leave them fifth on the premiership ladder.

The incident came after several baffling calls went against the home side as the Warriors found themselves on the wrong end of a lopsided 10-5 penalty count that helped the visitors come back from 0-12 down to claim victory.

Earlier this week, Warriors CEO Cameron George contacted NRL head of football Brian Canavan and coach Stephen Kearney also spoke with refereeing authorities in a two-pronged approach to express the club's concerns over the performance of the match officials.

"I had a discussion with Brian Canavan and spoke to him about a number of the concerns that we had over the officiating," said George.

"Brian's undertaken to certainly have a look at the incidents that I referred to and come back to me.

"I felt it was appropriate given the general feeling through our fan base to go to the head of football rather as opposed to the referees.

"Steve can have that discussion from an operational perspective with referees, but I felt it appropriate to talk to the head of football because I left the stadium knowing that we could have won the game without a doubt, but also knew that there were some calls from the officials that left me astounded.

"But at the end of the day, I know we're not going to get our two points back. I know we should have won the game and could have won the game, but we just need to make sure that when there are questions that need to be answered around refereeing decisions that we represent our fans appropriately and put that forward."

Kearney spoke post-match about his frustration over the missed forward pass, along with a first-half decision that allowed the advantage to stay with Cronulla after desperate defence prevented Sharks halfback Chad Townsend from scoring, and a harsh second-half call saw Warriors front-rower Chris Satae penalised for an incorrect play the ball.

He was reluctant to dwell on the controversy yesterday and reiterated the fact his side had missed opportunities to clinch the result as they look to bounce back against the fourth-ranked Panthers.

"I've brought that up with the appropriate people but I'm not going to spend any more energy on it," said Kearney.

"My focus is on what we have ahead of us this week and the challenge that we have ahead of us on Friday.

"So I've parked that behind us and, as I said after the game, we had opportunities to put that game to bed but we weren't quite good enough to do that."

Kearney declined to reveal whether he had received a response from the NRL but doubted whether the complaint would prevent his side or any other team suffering a similar fate throughout the remainder of the season.

"I don't think you're ever going to guard against that," he said. "That's just the nature of the game. I don't think the referees are in a position, anyone's in a position, to say that won't happen again."

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