Henry tackles refs after Cowboys' loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Henry tackles refs after Cowboys' loss

By Ben Galvin 26/07/2009 10:47:12 AM Comments (0)

North Queensland coach Neil Henry took aim at match officials after several contentious decisions in the Cowboys' 28-20 NRL loss to Penrith on Saturday night.

The Queensland State of Origin assistant took particular exception to the performance of video referee Sean Hampstead, even calling for him to be replaced.

Henry was angered at tries awarded to Penrith aces Michael Gordon and Michael Jennings, who scored his second hat trick this season in the see-sawing match.

"To me, this standard is not good enough in the NRL," Henry said.

"The video referee is up there to get things right and I reckon twice tonight Sean Hampstead didn't get it right.

"I am going to ask serious questions of why have we got Sean Hampstead in that position if he can't get that right.

"Get someone else in there.

"I just think they got it wrong and we get decisions wrong each week."

Henry was most aggrieved by the decision to award a first-half try to Gordon, who batted the ball ahead for himself before regathering to score.

He also questioned the lead-up to Jennings' second try, when Gavin Cooper appeared to knock on before the NSW centre pounced.

"I dont think there was any doubt that (Michael) Gordon tapped the ball forward," Henry said.

"You can't catch it while slapping it forward."

"... With Cooper, the ball comes off his right hand towards our goal line into his left leg and somehow Sean Hampstead finds it is a try.

"Decision-making by the two referees (Shayne Hayne and Matt Cecchin) and Sean Hampstead up there I don't know.

"I know you don't get the rub of the green sometimes but there has been some crucial decisions tonight."

The Cowboys' second straight loss leaves them on the brink of the top eight and facing a tough run home with games against Gold Coast(away) and the Bulldogs and Brisbane at home.

Penrith, meanwhile, boosted their finals hopes and leap frogged the Cowboys into fifth spot on the ladder.

The Cowboys went 16-10 up after Carl Webb was gifted a try in the 57th minute after Penrith failed to defuse a Johnathan Thurston kick.

But two tries in five minutes, through Jennings and the impressive Jarrod Sammut, saw Penrith take the lead for the first time.

The match looked headed for golden point when John Williams crossed out wide in the 74th minute but Thurston fluffed his attempted conversion well short of the posts.

Jennings iced the cake for the Panthers right on fulltime, cleverly pouncing on a Cowboys error and racing 40 metres to score.

Panthers coach Matt Elliott couldn't hide his satisfaction after the win.

"I am immensely proud of the character that they showed," Elliott said.

"I am just not sure, I was hoping one of you guys (media) could tell me how we won.

"... It was just the fact we have got a group of people that even when they get things wrong, they are just prepared to keep showing up.

"It gives you the opportunity to win."

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