Fiery Dragons ask for refereeing explanation

Dragons coach Steve Price and captain Ben Creagh have each expressed extreme frustration with the refereeing in the side's 26-6 loss to South Sydney at the SCG on Saturday night.

Price said the 7-1 first half penalty count against his side and a disallowed try to fullback Josh Dugan were tough to understand. The coach responded to the first question of the press conference – "How did you see that one?" – with, "The penalty count you're talking about?" and repeatedly steered his answers back to the officiating.

"I couldn't understand a few of those decisions, especially in that first half – a 7-1 penalty count in that first half, there were parts of our discipline that let us down but I fully couldn't understand some of those other penalties, especially in that first half," he said.

Watch the NRL LIVE with a 2-week free trial.
Get the NRL Digital Pass now!

He was also adamant Dugan had cleanly grounded the ball in the 32nd minute, despite the on-field referee indicating a no-try and the video official confirming his opinion. It proved a massive turning point, as what could have been 8-6 to Souths became 14-0 to the Rabbitohs when the Bunnies scored at the end of the next set.

"When you get your fullback to get over the stripe and they say the ball came away from his hands and he didn't ground it with his hands which it clearly showed that he scored that try – it's something I need to take up with [referees boss] Tony Archer because it was a big turnaround," Price said.

"They scored off the next set, they're up 14 nil at half time. After all the possession they had at our end of the field – it's frustrating."

Creagh also expressed disappointment at the officiating.

"It was so frustrating the variety of penalties they were giving out. He told me to go and tell my team to work on discipline – I'm not sure what area to work on when there were seven different penalties given in the first half. It was tough," Creagh said.

"We were on the back foot the whole time. Then when the penalties were given the referees were getting us back 12 or 13 metres. I was standing next to the referees saying, 'Look how far you've got us back'. That's not how they saw it. It was tough."

He stopped short of blaming the officials for the loss and conceded the side needed to be better in its discipline and defence, but said the weight of possession on the back of the penalties told at the back end of the game as Souths ran away with the win.

"A lot of the boys were looking at me as if to say, 'Go and ask them what this is about', because they felt they were unfairly penalised. Some of them were warranted, some of them I didn't know what they were for," he said.

"And it's hard when the captain can't get an explanation from the referees, I've just got to stand there and wait 'til a stoppage in play. At times I had to wait 'til a try was scored or wait 'til a scrum and that's a tough thing, to try and wait to get an explanation and try and help the boys and like they said try and get some discipline back in the side."