Warriors keen to reverse NRL penalty count - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors keen to reverse NRL penalty count

Joe Barton 21/09/2011 05:17:50 PM Comments (0)

Here are the damning statistics which back up Warriors coach Ivan Cleary's claims that his NRL side has been copping rough treatment from the referees.

In addition to the recent lop-sided penalty counts against his side in their finals clashes, the Warriors are yet to win a count outside of New Zealand - and preliminary final opponents Melbourne have lost just two at home all year.

After watching his team nearly get penalised out of the finals against the Wests Tigers, the normally calm and collected Cleary lashed out at whistleblowers Jared Maxwell and Shayne Hayne.

Central to Cleary's concerns were the lopsided penalty counts in the first halves in both of the Warriors' finals clashes.

The Auckland-based side conceded a combined total of seven penalties to none in the opening 40 minutes of both matches - forcing them to make an extra 94 tackles before halftime.

"It was 9-4 (against the Tigers) and I think in a semi-final that is horrendously lop-sided," Cleary said.

"There were definitely some calls there that I think they will be disappointed with when they look back at it.

"In semi-finals, that's a big penalty count, in any game really.

"I think everyone knows in big games that penalties are so crucial and you couldn't really look at our team tonight and say that our discipline was that bad."

It's a problem for the Warriors that can be traced back to the regular season, with their only penalty count win away in round four against Cronulla - but that match was played in Taupo, New Zealand.

Of even greater concern for Cleary ahead of Saturday night's AAMI Park clash will be the Storm's impressive discipline on home soil - they've only lost two penalty counts in Melbourne, but are yet to win a count when travelling.

Cleary spoke to referees boss Bill Harrigan this week and said on Wednesday he was pleased with the discussion.

"I got a review from him, which we'd get every week, but sometimes it's not from Bill, so he did it," Cleary said.

"As usual, Bill is very transparent. Everything was made clear.

"Overall he just told us to keep doing what we're doing, so in that regard I think we're going OK, so hopefully that's the way it will be on Saturday."

The Warriors-Storm clash will be refereed by Matt Cecchin and Tony Archer after Cleary's side was officiated by Maxwell and Hayne the two previous weeks.

Asked why the Warriors had lost recent penalty counts, the coach said: "It's a good question. I don't have the answer. I hope it turns around this week."

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