St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor has begun the mind games ahead of Sunday’s NRL local derby with Cronulla, imploring the referees to give his side a fair go.
McGregor pointed the fingers at the whistleblowers following his side’s valiant round one 18-16 defeat to Melbourne after losing the penalty count 9-4.
He said his troops were on the end of four dud decisions at key moments which he believed cost his side.
This week he asked NRL referees boss Tony Archer for a please explain with his side hungry to open their 2016 account against the Sharks on Sunday.
“I think our performance against Melbourne was a good sign, we lost by two points, there were four incorrect decisions at the back end of the half,” McGregor said.
“That’s been taken care of through the right resources this week so you’d like to think both sides would get refereed correctly.
“We went down by two points in Melbourne against Melbourne which not many sides can do down there. So I thought our performance was very good. It’s about now improving on that.”
Both sides are searching for their first two points of the season though neither coach was disappointed by their efforts in round one.
The Sharks had their chances against premiers North Queensland but ultimately fell short, leading coach Shane Flanagan to call for his side to showcase their killer instinct against the Dragons.
“I don’t know if there is such a thing (as a good loss), but there was patches,” Flanagan said of his team’s performance against the Cowboys.
“We were in it at the 70th minute mark … It gives you some comfort that they won the competition and they were running out the same 17 in the first round but in the end we needed two points.
“It was a fast game and it gave us a little bit of an idea of where we are in the competition.”
STATS THAT MATTER
* Since 2009, the Dragons have dominated this clash, winning 10 of 14 encounters.
* In a worrying sign for coach Paul McGregor, the Dragons are 1-9 in their last 10 away matches.
* The Sharks will be looking to avoid losing the opening two matches to a season for the third straight year.
Source: Fox Sports Stats