A short history of controversial Warriors calls

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
League,
Publish Date
Saturday, 27 April 2019, 12:52PM
Shaun Johnson complains to the referee during Warriors controversial loss to the Sharks in 2018. Photo / Getty Images
Shaun Johnson complains to the referee during Warriors controversial loss to the Sharks in 2018. Photo / Getty Images

Last night's controversial end against the Melbourne Storm was one of a number of dubious refereeing decisions to go against the Warriors over the years.

Late crowding penalty sparks Storm's comeback win - April 25, 2019

The Warriors were hanging on grimly to a 12-10 lead with less than five minutes to play, when the officials found a penalty in the ruck right in front of the posts. It was a 50-50 call at best, as Storm prop Jesse Bromwich dropped the ball as he attempted to play it quickly, and plenty of similar situations this year have been adjudged knock ons.

The Storm were finishing over the top over the Warriors – with spells of constant pressure – but time was against the home side – who were growing frustrated by the Warriors' impressive goal line defence. That pressure was released with the penalty call, and the Brodie Croft's 78th minute field goal was enough to ice a 13-12 win. Asked about the call in the post-match interview, Kearney said: "Don't get me started."

Sharks steal win on uncalled forward pass - June 29, 2018

The Cronulla Sharks stole two points from the Warriors when Sharks winger Edrick Lee scored in the corner late in the game. What was worse for the Warriors was the pass from centre Ricky Leutele was clearly forward but went uncalled. The incident came after several baffling calls went against the home side as the Warriors found themselves on the wrong end of a lopsided penalty count. The result had an impact on the ladder at the end of the regular season too. The Warriors finished eighth on 32 points, just two points off the Shark in fourth.

Penalty try inconsistencies - April 3 and June 25, 2016

Ryan Hoffman was fuming. Not only on April 3 when he was denied a penalty try against the Roosters, but also on June 25 when the Sharks were awarded one for almost the same offence. On April 3, in the 22nd minute, the Warriors were down by four points when Hoffman was clearly held back on his way to a kick chase.

The Bunker ruled no try and no penalty try, yet the on-field referee ruled a penalty. Which begs all sorts of questions: What constitutes a penalty try? Why was it a penalty and not a penalty try? Why didn't the player get sent off for 10?

Regardless of whether you think it's a penalty try or not, if the penalty was for a player impeding another player's ability to score a try, it's a professional foul and 10 minutes in the sin bin. Contrast that to June 25 when Jayson Bukuya was impeded by Simon Mannering and the bunker awarded a penalty try, in a game which the Warriors lost in golden point.

Rabbitohs centre held, but not held - June 6, 2015

The last thing you want to hear when you feel like a call has gone against you is the referees' boss come out and confirm that. The Warriors thrashing in Perth at the hands of the South Sydney Rabbitohs should have looked slightly better after refereeing boss at the time Tony Archer confirmed the Rabbitohs' first try should not have stood. Centre Bryson Goodwin scored early in the contest after being chased down by Warriors half Shaun Johnson. Johnson appeared to have completed the tackle of Goodwin and have him held, but the referees allowed the speedy centre to continue his run. Archer later said: "He was held … At that point he was tackled, there is still contact on the player on the ground."

Storm forward pass try – April 25, 2013

If you ask former Warriors coach Matt Elliott, the side has been stung by a controversial refereeing decision on Anzac Day before. It'd be hard to argue with the case when, in 2013, Storm centre Will Chambers scored a try to put the Melbourne side in the lead on the back of a dubious offload from winger Sisa Waqa. Chambers was about a metre in front of Waqa when he received the pass, though the fact he collected it behind him might have provided enough doubt for the referees to allow play to continue. After the game, Elliott called the pass "a long way forward" while Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy even admitted it was "a little bit doubtful."

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