Form guide out and controversy in - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Form guide out and controversy in

By Laine Clark 23/05/2004 07:49:42 PM Comments (0)

The form guide was tossed out the window and officials again came under the spotlight in an upset-riddled National Rugby League round 11.

It may have been business as usual for the Penrith Panthers as they downed the North Queensland Cowboys 22-18 - their sixth victory at Townsville in seven matches - but just like the rest of the round it was not without controversy.

Penrith fullback and NRL leading try scorer Amos Roberts sealed the win on Saturday night with his 13th four pointer of 2004.

But the Cowboys were seething after referee Steve Clark awarded a first half try to Paul Whatuira - who appeared to drop the ball over the line - without consulting fourth official Graeme West.

The Cowboys were also seeing red over a ball stripping penalty involving Penrith prop Joel Clinton minutes later which resulted in a successful kick to Ryan Girdler who finally racked up 600 career goals in the match.

"There are 25 people in our club who have come up to me and said two things - they think he dropped it on the replay and it was short of the line," Cowboys coach Graham Murray said.

"Now, top class referees go to the video referee if there is doubt ... I think there's enough doubt in that situation."

Officials were also singled out in the Sharks' upset 30-28 win over Manly at Brookvale Oval - only the fifth time in 32 games since 1967 Cronulla had beaten the Sea Eagles at their northern beaches home.

Cronulla sealed the win when Manly pivot Andrew Walker missed a sideline conversion attempt in the dying minutes that would have sent the match into golden point - just as he did from an identical kick in their round five 30-28 loss to Bulldogs.

But Manly coach Des Hasler was still simmering over a disallowed first half try claimed by Eagles reserve Kylie Leuluai.

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