Sharks coach takes a bite at refs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharks coach takes a bite at refs

27/06/2010 01:39:22 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla coach Ricky Stuart has launched a stinging attack on NRL referees after his club narrowly escaped with a win in golden point against the Cowboys on Saturday night.

While the victory is in their keeping, it came within a whisker of being taken away from them following a controversial decision which gave North Queensland skipper Johnathan Thurston a shot at goal to win the game 30 metres in front.

Amazingly, he missed. But that doesn't mean Stuart is any less livid over the penalty against hooker John Morris for an alleged strip on Cowboy Willie Mason.

Stuart implied there was bias being directed against his battling club which has been battered by off-field controversies, financial dramas and a lack of stars in its roster.

It is something he said he has already discussed with referee boss Robert Finch and NRL chief operating officer Graham Annesley.

But after that penalty was awarded and an alleged high shot on Paul Gallen at the other end of the field in extra time was not, Stuart elected to fire a public shot on behalf of his players.

"I really feel for these blokes, we cop the wrong end of the decisions all the time," he fumed.

"I've go to be careful what I say but I've got to say something about it.

"These poor buggers in there, if they had of lost that game because of that decision ... it's two referees arguing over whether it was a strip or not."

Stuart believes Cronulla should have earned a penalty down the other end of the field when Paul Gallen was hit high right in front of the Cowboys' posts.

"If Paul Gallen isn't as tough as he is and lays down where he got hit in the head in front of their posts down their end of the field and gets the penalty, the game's over," Stuart lamented.

"But we never get those 50/50 decisions.

"It really annoys me because it's happening all the time.

"It's a consistent thing for this footy team and I don't know what it is - that wasn't a strip."

Stuart said he was relieved with the win but was adamant he still had the right to complain about the decision which really should have cost his team the game.

"(I get) called a whinger, well I'm not whingeing because we won but I'm whingeing about the refs'," he fumed.

"You get called a sore loser, that's fine, I don't mind that if I think I'm sticking up for my players.

"I'm not happy with how these players keep consistently getting the wrong end of the deal.

"It happened last week, it's happened three or four times this year. It's never our way, it must really annoy our fans."

Sharks' skipper Trent Barrett backed his coach's stance and was on the spot for the call which saw Morris blow up and throw the football in disgust.

"It wasn't a strip, he had Mason's elbow and that's a massive call," he said.

"He wasn't going to give it to Gallen up the other end and if Gallen lays down we get the penalty."

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