Video refs under fire as Manly rebounds - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Video refs under fire as Manly rebounds

By Wayne Heming 10/05/2009 07:44:32 PM Comments (0)

Video referees came under heavy fire from players and coaches following controversial NRL victories by Manly and Newcastle on Sunday.

Manly took a small step towards getting their premiership defence back on track with a 22-20 upset over Brisbane while Newcastle beat Gold Coast 23-18 at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

Both wins were shrouded in controversy.

Fuming Gold Coast coach John Cartwright launched a withering attack on the NRL's referees after a controversial no-try ruling helped Newcastle hang on for their fifth victory in six games.

Cartwright was filthy after Titans fullback William Zillman was denied a 79th-minute try by video official Sean Hampstead who ruled Scott Prince obstructed Junior Sau as he played the ball.

"It's a defender's responsibility to get off the man with the ball, it's not Princey's job to get rid of the defender, that's what half the penalties are given for," Cartwright said.

"You go through a game, you'll see 20 of those tackles."

The Titans will also be sweating on Anthony Laffranchi and Chris Walker who were put on report.

The pair were reported for using forearms to the heads of Mark Taufua and Isaac De Gois while in possession.

At Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak was also in a dark mood after Manly centre Jamie Lyon received two try-scoring decisions in his favour from video referee Paul Simpkins.

Henjak was slightly more restrained than Cartwright but admitted he was "confused" by some decisions, especially Lyon's third try where he tapped the ball forward before being awarded a try in the 70th minute put Manly into the lead 22-16.

It immediately sparked comparisons with Jarryd Hayne's "no try" for Parramatta against the Cowboys a few weeks ago when he deliberately hit to ball over fullback Matt Bowen's head before regaining it.

"I was a little confused, to me he knocked the ball forward," said Henjak, clearly of the opinion Lyon's action was a deliberate attempt to gain an advantage.

"I saw (Jarryd) Hayne penalised for something similar.

"It looked deliberate to me but maybe I don't know the rules too well."

Manly coach Des Hasler had a totally different view.

"They (tries) were within the context of the rules so they were tries," said Hasler, refusing to declare Manly's season back on track after the win.

North Queensland captain Johnathan Thurston pulled off his second star performance in as many days scoring a hat-trick in his side's 24-20 victory over St George Illawarra on Saturday.

Thurston, who 24 hours after had starred for Australia in their 38-10 victory over the Kiwis, slept for 12 hours solid before backing up for his NRL club.

While Dragons winger Brett Morris managed to out-do the Australian halfback with four tries, it wasn't enough to get the his side home.

The news could yet get worse for Wayne Bennett's side with Kangaroos winger Darius Boyd limping from the field with an injury to his right leg in the 58th minute.

The defeats for the Dragons and the Broncos saw them miss the chance to leapfrog the Bulldogs, who had the bye, and go to the top of the ladder.

The round will be completed on Monday when Sydney Roosters take on Melbourne at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford.

The Storm are confident all eight of their representative players who were in action on Friday will back up to take on Brad Fittler's side who are looking for a second successive victory.

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