Video refs baffle North Queensland in NRL loss

JOE BARTON
Last updated 04:49 25/05/2013

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North Queensland coach Neil Henry was left "bitter and twisted" after a series of overturned video referee decisions cruelled his side in the Wests Tigers' last-gasp 22-20 NRL win on Friday night.

The Tigers snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 78th minute David Nofoaluma try in horrendous wet weather at Leichhardt Oval.

It was a brave victory for an injury-hit Tigers outfit that have copped plenty in their recent losing run, and one which the 7,125 fans who turned up in the rain celebrated heartily.

But Henry and co-captain Matt Scott turned the heat up on video referees Luke Patten and Chris Ward after the game following four controversial decisions.

If just one had gone the Cowboys way, they would've been celebrating a crucial pre-State of Origin victory care of a Tariq Sims try double.

But it wasn't to be.

In the first half, Benji Marshall scored on a questionable grubber while Ash Graham was denied - with the video referees disagreeing with their on-field counterparts on both occasions.

"Do I give away $10,000? I don't know," Henry fumed after the match, referencing the allotted NRL fine for heavy criticism of referees.

"...To say that Benji regained that when they said it was no try, to overrule the onfield officials' decision which is four sets of eyes, I can't see how that's the same.

"It's the same with Ash Graham's, they ruled try and I can't see how they can definitely say that ball was on the sideline before any part of the ball hit the tryline not on the vision I saw."

After the break, Kane Linnett was denied a double when a knock on was found by the video referee and Ash Graham was denied by a simultaneous grounding.

Graham looked to have got over the top of Tigers winger Marika Koroibete, who was struggling with a foot injury, but couldn't get the green light to flash.

"They are significant parts of the game and yes we are bitter and twisted about it but the end result it doesn't change the two points we haven't got," Henry said.

Tigers skipper Robbie Farah was outstanding in the game, making 58 tackles and reading the conditions perfectly to set up tries to Marshall and prop Jack Buchanan with clever grubbers.

"He would be the best hooker in the game," Potter said, to a snicker from Farah who was sitting beside him.

"We're certainly happy to have him. The way he's playing is phenomenal. He's going to be great for NSW.

"His workrate ... you can't buy that."

The Tigers, already missing the best part of a first grade lineup to injury, will again test their depth after second-rower Liam Fulton (hamstring) and Koroibete (foot) failed to finish the game.

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Koroibete, who finished off a fantastic 65 metre try in the first half, aggravated the foot injury which kept him sidelined for four games earlier this year, and is potentially the more serious concern for Potter.

Koroibete was also twice penalised for shoulder charges while defending the Tigers' tryline.

The Cowboys didn't escape unscathed, with second-rower Gavin Cooper suffering a medial ligament injury which could sideline him for a month.

- AAP

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