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North Queensland captain Johnathan Thurston has again raised concerns over a Cowboys conspiracy as his coach pledged to ‘‘walk nude through Pitt Street’’ if Kieran Foran’s try wasn’t an obstruction.
Thurston and coach Paul Green were fuming after the 26-21 loss to the Sea Eagles at Central Coast Stadium on Friday night, with a contentious video refereeing decision involving Kieran Foran costing the Cowboys for the second time in two years.
‘‘I want to talk about that refereeing decision, that is absolutely bewildering,’’ Green said of the try awarded to Foran despite replays showing Jamie Buhrer had obstructed Ray Thompson. ‘‘Someone needs to explain to me what the ruling is because in my opinion they must have changed the rule. Firstly in that passage of play how he ruled six to go – in my opinion that pass [from Brett Stewart] went forward and they’ve ruled six to go.
Centre of controversy: Kieran Foran goes over for Manly. Photo: Getty Images
‘‘Then on the try – if that’s not an obstruction I’ll walk nude through Pitt Street. Someone needs to explain to me whether they’ve changed the obstruction rule because I’m absolutely bewildered how they got it wrong.’’
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.
It was a case of deja vu on Friday night at Central Coast Stadium, with Thurston again left to question the match officials in disbelief of what had just transpired. ‘‘Very much so,’’ Thurston said after he was asked if the ruling was hard to cop given the history surrounding the club and the officials. ‘‘Like I said to Freddy [Fittler], when you’re in this jersey and it goes to a video ref, it’s a lottery.’’
The Cowboys were bundled out of last year’s finals series when Cronulla scored a try on the seventh tackle of a set, with the Queenslanders claiming it was a Sydney conspiracy theory aimed at cruelling the out-of-towners. But Green wouldn’t buy into such suggestions, adamant his side was owed an explanation by the NRL.
‘‘We’ve got to move past that as a club,’’ Green said of the conspiracy theory. ‘‘There’ll be no talking about ‘poor Cowboys, the world is against us’. That was just a poor decision. What’s disappointing for the game is that decisions like that are deciding outcomes, and that’s not good enough.
‘‘They owe us an explanation. What did you think? Did you think it was a try? There wasn’t a bloke at this ground who thought that was a try.
‘‘ It’s just absolutely bewildering. They’ll either come out and say they were wrong, but that doesn’t help us get the two points back, or they’ll justify their decision.’’
Thurston said the on field referees didn’t have an explanation for the decision by the video referees.
‘‘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.’’