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History repeats as Manly Sea Eagles beat North Queensland Cowboys with help of controversial refereeing decision

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For the second time in less than two years, a controversial video refereeing decision involving Kieran Foran has gone against North Queensland to hand Manly a 26-21 victory on Friday night.

Video referees Bernard Sutton and Paul Mellor awarded a try to Foran in the 72nd minute, despite replays suggesting Manly's Jamie Buhrer had obstructed Cowboys hooker Ray Thompson.

In the 2012 finals series, the video referee incorrectly awarded the Sea Eagles a try despite replays showing that Foran had knocked on contesting a bomb.

Centre of controversy: Kieran Foran goes over for Manly despite a strong claim for obstruction against Jamie Buhrer.

Centre of controversy: Kieran Foran goes over for Manly despite a strong claim for obstruction against Jamie Buhrer. Photo: Getty Images

Time
80.00
Team
MAN
Score
26
Team
NQL
Score
21
Manly versus North Queensland
View Match Statistics
Players Matai, Taufua(2), Foran, Buhrer Tries 5 Tries 4 Players Feldt, Tate(2), Rona
Players Lyon 3/5 (60%) Conversions 3 Conversions 2 Players Feldt 0/2 (0%), Thurston 2/2 (100%)
Players Penalty goals 0 Penalty goals 0 Players Thurston 0/1 (0%)
Players Lyon 0/1 (0%) Field goals 0 Field goals 1 Players Thurston 1/1 (100%)

It was a case of deja vu on Friday night at Central Coast Stadium, with Johnathan Thurston again left to question the match officials in disbelief of what had just transpired.

"He directly runs at the line and takes him out," Thurston said to referee Gavin Badger after the video referees awarded the try. "It's not good enough Badge, it's not good enough mate."

When Foran's try was awarded and converted by Jamie Lyon, the Sea Eagles equalled the score at 20-20 having trailed by 10 points four minutes earlier.

But with five minutes on the clock, Thurston slotted a field goal under extreme pressure to give his side a one-point advantage heading into the final exchanges.

But in the absence of halfback Daly Cherry-Evans, Foran produced a stroke of genius to seal the deal for the home side with two minutes on the clock.

Foran and Buhrer - the two players at the centre of the controversial video referee decision, combined for the match winner with Foran producing a brilliant short ball on the last tackle to put Buhrer in beside the post.

The Sea Eagles had to defend their line in the final minute after the Cowboys retained possession from the kick off, however Geoff Toovey's men held firm despite an onslaught from the visitors.

Thurston was incredible for the Cowboys, providing his side with what Manly so badly lacked in the absence of the injured Cherry-Evans - direction. 

Manly continued their love affair with the Central Coast in front of a crowd of 10,013, winning their 12th game at the venue in their last 15 appearances,

In the first half it was a short side raid from the Sea Eagles allowed Foran and Brett Stewart to combine and put Steve Matai through a small gap to give the Sea Eagles an early lead.

The Cowboys then scored three unanswered tries, two to Brent Tate and one to Kyle Feldt, to take a 14-6 lead into the break.

Thurston had a penalty attempt from 30 metres out early in the second half, but the Australian No.6 hooked it wide of the sticks to add to the Cowboys' woes with the boot, missing three goals.

Manly's first penalty of the game came in the 48th minute, which led to Jorge Taufua crossing in the corner from the ensuing set to reduce North Queensland's lead to 14-10.

Cowboys debutant Curtis Rona, who starred for North Queensland in the Auckland Nines in the pre-season, extended his side's lead back to 10 points when he registered the first try of his career in the 58th minute.

But a grandstand finish was set up after Brett Stewart broke through the line to put Taufua in for his second and reduce the deficit to just six points with 12 minutes remaining.

25 comments so far

  • Is it any wonder Manly are so despised by league fans far and wide? They were gifted another win tonight (the other was the last second disgrace against the Eels at Brookie with a Manly player sideways at the play the ball) with a forward pass from Stewart and the obvious obstruction. Can you imagine if this try had sealed it for the Cowboys? The Manly faithful would have rioted and Toovey would have blown a valve. If teams like Cronulla or Canberra ran that same play it would have been pulled up. So disillusioned.

    Commenter
    Bill Blazejowski
    Location
    Blazeland
    Date and time
    April 18, 2014, 10:30PM
    • Hmm, don't think that's why everyone hates Manly. In fact, the real reason isn't even relevant anymore. But, I'm not telling you who to hate. Concerning the game though, the cowboys lost it for themselves by letting Manly back in the game so easily. Manly blew 4 sets in a row and still managed to stay in the hunt. Yes, Brett Stewart's between the legs was a bit iffy, but Foran's try was good. You have to admit the current obstruction rule rewards lazy defenders who get outsmarted by outstanding play. Thompson threw his arms up for a whinge instead of actually trying to make a tackle, that's why the video ref gave the try to Manly. Also, the Sharkies were gifted a win in the finals against the cowboys so...

      Commenter
      phil
      Date and time
      April 18, 2014, 11:38PM
    • it isn't the sea beagles fault that the officials are useless. The NRL showed last week after the diabolical events of Monday night they do not care.

      Commenter
      va gay nay
      Location
      Roma
      Date and time
      April 18, 2014, 11:47PM
    • So Bill tell me why its Manly's fault if anything its the lack of consistency from the referee's on the obstruction rule, they are ones to blame not the team playing the whistle

      Commenter
      Andrew
      Date and time
      April 19, 2014, 12:43AM
    • You'd think Manly were the only team to ever get a decision go their way... except perhaps last years GF. There were a number of interesting decisions that game including Tate's pass to the rookie for his try.

      Commenter
      TC
      Date and time
      April 19, 2014, 3:37AM
    • You'd think Manly were the only team to ever get a decision go their way... except perhaps last years GF. There were a number of interesting decisions that game including Tate's pass to the rookie for his try.

      Commenter
      TC
      Date and time
      April 19, 2014, 3:37AM
    • So you don't think Manly have also lost games due to poor refereeing? Every team has bad calls go against them and over time Manly get just as many bad calls as any other team - Toovey is well known for complaining after all (as you even seem to admit). Manly are "despised" because they are successful, no other reason - oh except for some Parramatta fans who still haven't got over Jamie Lyon. I reckon Manly did pretty well without DCE and Whatmough injured early - refs or not. The Cowboys would be no hope without Thurston.

      Commenter
      Jason
      Date and time
      April 19, 2014, 5:10AM
    • Hahaha, cry baby.

      Commenter
      Bear Hunter
      Date and time
      April 19, 2014, 6:52AM
    • I didn't know people hated Manly.

      Commenter
      Silvertail
      Location
      Manly
      Date and time
      April 19, 2014, 12:22PM
  • I wonder if Toovey will demand an investigation for this travesty?

    Commenter
    Geoff
    Location
    Hobart
    Date and time
    April 18, 2014, 10:41PM

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