North Queensland coach Paul Green looks certain to be the second NRL coach whacked with a $10,000 fine this week after spraying the officials following his team’s loss to Melbourne.
The Cowboys mentor was furious after his side’s 26-8 loss at 1300SMILES Stadium, with his dissent looking likely to see him join Dragons coach Paul McGregor on the league’s list of debtors.
North Queensland’s chances against the ladder leaders took a major blow in the opening 10 minutes when they lost starters Gavin Cooper and Antonio Winterstein to game-ending injuries and little went their way from that point.
A series of 50-50 calls from Ashley Klein and Alan Shortall seemed to go against the home side on Friday night and Green didn’t mince words in his assessment of their performances.
“That was the worst bloody refereeing display I have ever seen tonight,” he said.
“There were some dead set calls that I had to ask my assistants ‘what was that for?’
“I just thought it lacked consistency.
“I’m not one to shift the blame away from our performance, but I thought the fans deserved more than that.”
The 2015 premiers were already battling a mounting injury toll with co-captains Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott out for the year and a major injury reshuffle cruelled their hopes against a classy Melbourne outfit.
Injuries aside, an incensed Green was livid with the treatment of his team and went as far as blaming the refs for tarnishing the entire contest.
“There were two quality teams out there and I was left scratching my head at some of the calls,” he said.
“Melbourne were the better team on the night, there’s no doubt about it but … it’s just a shame the refs ruined the game.”
Green pointed to a contentious knock-on call against Lachlan Coote that denied Michael Morgan a certain try and a questionable tryline penalty against the Cowboys as major concerns.
“I thought the one where we caught them in-goal, there’s no way that was a penalty,” he said.
“When you have two good teams you don’t want those things to decide games.
“I’m not saying that happened tonight but it was a shame to see.”
Green was also quizzed on the fitness of injured duo Cooper (calf) and Winterstein (hamstring) but said he didn’t yet know the extent of their injuries.
“It’s hard to say straight after the game,” he said.
“Antonio has a hamstring thing so until you scan it you don’t know how bad it is.
“Coops has a calf injury, so again until you get scans you don’t know how long.”