St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor has questioned the decision of referee Gerard Sutton not to refer a possible try from Dylan Farrell to the video officials after his side’s dramatic 14-12 Anzac Day NRL win over the Sydney Roosters.
With his side leading 10-6 midway through the second half, Farrell was able to get a hand to Gareth Widdop’s grubber-kick at the back of the in-goal area but Sutton awarded a 20-metre restart to the Roosters.
Although it ultimately had no affect on the final outcome of the game, McGregor said he was bemused by the decision not to review the incident.
“I can’t comment on the referee,” McGregor said.
“But I can comment on the decision to review a decision on a drop-out against (Joel) Thompson by not go to the box for what was a try.”
Dragons skipper Ben Creagh said the players implored Sutton to go upstairs for consultation but their requests fell on deaf ears.
“I was a little bit away from when Dylan put it down, but a lot of the guys out at that end of the field said he did and that it was a try,” said Creagh after his 250th game for the club.
“There is a lot of 50-50 calls sometimes, but that case especially – with how wet it was and how the ball held up – it would have been good for the ref to go upstairs and have a look.
“I said to him it would have been good to have gone upstairs … but he didn’t say much.”
The decision didn’t cost the Dragons who chalked up a sixth straight win for the first time since 2011 when they won nine on the bounce under Wayne Bennett.
McGregor paid tribute to the kicking game of Widdop and Benji Marshall who he said were the difference in a clash that was delayed for half-an-hour, 28 minutes into the first half, due to torrential rain, hail, thunder and lightning.
“I haven’t been involved in a game that lasts three hours,” McGregor said.
“‘Basil’ (assistant coach Ian Milward) has coached in England for a decade and he said he’s never seen nothing like it. You’ll have to go to the books for that one.
“We didn’t need the break to start with, we were getting a roll on and got out to a 10-0 lead.
“It was hard to single out anyone but our kicking game in the second half was outstanding.
“Gaz and Benji are getting that combination going and enjoying each other’s company out there which is important.
“Benji is playing with real composure which is really pleasing at this stage of his career.”
Roosters coach Trent Robinson said his side didn’t deal well enough with the Dragons’ kicking game and admitted their 3-5 record made for uncomfortable reading after they slumped to a fourth straight loss for the first time in his tenure.
“They kicked very well, found a lot of space and then also we didn’t execute our kicks or our plays on the end of that,” Robinson said.
“I don’t think it’s technical but there is a bit we need to do.
“In the last bit of the game, we’ve got a bit of mental stuff we’re going to have to do to get right.
“We’ve had some big moments but we need more of them. It’s easy to say we’re not far, but losing four straight is not comfortable.”