Dragons coach Steve Price queried the referees' interpretation of the 10-metre rule. Copyright: Robb Cox/NRL Photos.

Price perplexed by referees

A perplexed Dragons coach Steve Price said he will be keen to figure out why his side couldn't land a penalty in their 36-16 loss to the Broncos on Friday night.  

It was the joint venture side's first loss of the season, and while the third-year coach admitted it was a positive start to the year, questioned the referees' policing of the ten metre rule. 

"It certainly has [been a good month]. As I said, we're still learning about ourselves. It has been a very positive start and we put ourselves in a position tonight to win that footy game, to get back within two," he said. 

"We'll live and learn, dust ourselves off and get ready for next week. It was tough to get a ten metre penalty there tonight."

While Price was clear that the 6-3 penalty count in favour of the Broncos wasn't the reason why his side lost, he remained flummoxed as to the inconsistencies displayed by the two referees. 

"Definitely with the two referees there, it's something I'll have to look at in the review. One referee was 10-11 [metres], the other one was 7-8 [metres]," he said. 

While not hiding his frustrations with the officiating, Price said the turning point came in a "five to eight minute block" in the second half where his side lost the game. 

"I thought it was a very fast game. There weren't many penalties blown," he said. "We spoke about that, [Brisbane] pride themselves on starting fast [and]they certainly did that. 

"Credit to our guys, I thought we got back into the arm wrestle really well. We come back after halftime, scored a tremendous try, and [got] within two but didn't play with any composure or any smarts there for a number of minutes. 

"And [that] put us on the back foot and I thought that's where the game was won, in that five to eight minute block there."

With a clash against the Rabbitohs at the SCG next week, Price was hopeful of forward Tyson Frizell recovering in time from a slight ankle issue suffered during the game. He said prop Dan Hunt, who missed the game with a knee complaint, and fullback Josh Dugan will also be available to play.