Warriors halfback explodes: 'Why not just kick us out of comp?

Author
Michael Burgess - NZ Herald,
Section
League,
Publish Date
Saturday, 10 August 2019, 9:38AM
Blake Green of the Warriors makes a break during the round 21 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. Photo / Getty Images
Blake Green of the Warriors makes a break during the round 21 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. Photo / Getty Images

Warriors halfback Blake Green admits that frustration got the better of him late in the second half of their win over Manly on Friday night, causing an out of character outburst about the officiating.

The Warriors confounded the odds to beat the Sea Eagles 24-16, with a first half display as good as anything they have produced this year.

They were in control at 18-0 with 15 minutes to play, before back rower Adam Blair was controversially sinbinned for a professional foul as Manly players chased an attacking grubber.

It was a dubious call – as Blair barely changed his running line but was deemed to have impeded Manase Fainu – and the bunker found a penalty, after numerous replays.

The on field microphones picked up Green, obviously disappointed at the bunker's call, say to referee Ben Cummins in exasperation: "All this bullshit they throw at us … [why not] just kick us out of the comp eh?".

Green was apologetic after the game, admitting it was the culmination of weeks of frustration.

"[It was the] heat of the battle," Green said. "We have copped a few of them this year, and I've been pretty quiet about it and I just wanted to let him know my thoughts."

"[It was a] bit of a pressure cooker, [we've] been under the pump, [we] copped a bit of a spray from everyone this week, we needed to respond. I just thought that was a big call in the game."

Green made no excuses for his remark, but ultimately remained confused by the decision.

"I probably said a few things I shouldn't have said to the referee," Green said. "But I didn't even think it was going to be a penalty, I honestly didn't."

"In the context of the game it turned out to be a pretty important one. I haven't had a chance to look at it again but on my first look it was touch and go. If that's 30 metres up the field and someone kicks the ball they say play on."

Coach Stephen Kearney was reluctant to discuss the officials yet again, but could empathise with his play maker after a series of bad calls stretching back weeks.

"I will have to talk to Blake about that one," Kearney said. "To be honest, it's been unprecedented in terms of what they had to endure leading into last week's game, post the Eels match, but I don't want to say any more on that."

The Warriors celebrate after Jazz Tevaga of the Warriors scored a try during the round 21 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. Photo / Photosport.co.nz
The Warriors celebrate after Jazz Tevaga of the Warriors scored a try during the round 21 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. Photo / Photosport.co.nz

On a specific level, Kearney was also bemused by the sinbinning decision.

"Off the back of the penalty count it was always going to be an issue but I didn't think it was a penalty," said Kearney. "He turns around to chase a kick and someone runs into the back of him. They looked long and hard to try and find it … and they did."

"It could have been really costly. I don't know where Adam is supposed to go. He is entitled to turn back and go for the ball himself. I don't know what he is supposed to do."

Kearney also questioned the use of frame by frame to analyse those kinds of incidents.

"When you slow it down to a millisecond, that's the problem," Kearney said. "It can make anything look different. The ref out on the field has got the best feel for the game, not someone sitting in a box."

With the Warriors down to 12 men, Manly rallied to score three tries in eight minutes, twice finding space on Blair's left edge.

But the Warriors regained their composure to see out the final five minutes, with Jazz Tevaga's 77th minute try from dummy half sealing the win.

"It was a really controlled game of footy, we did a good job defensively," Green reflected. "We were really tough and aggressive, flying out of the line and making good contact which we needed to do."

Green was thrilled with the response after last week's 46-12 defeat to the Raiders and their intensity was epitomised in the first 40 minutes, where they repelled numerous Manly raids, defying a huge deficit in possession and territory to hold the Sea Eagles scoreless.

"We felt really comfortable, our communication and talk was really good," Green said. "It helped with the conditions. They are a really good footy team and with it being so wet and slippery they couldn't get the ball out to the edges that fast which probably frustrated them a bit."

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