Parish blasts officials after Samoa loss
Following a heart-breaking 14-12 loss to the Kiwis in Saturday's Four Nations clash Samoan coach Matt Parish has unleashed a venomous spray in the direction of the match officials.
After leading the match heading into the final five minutes Samoa were run down by the fast-finishing Kiwis, who scored a 76th-minute winner through Shaun Kenny-Dowall.
In the post-match press conference Parish left nothing to the imagination, blasting the match officials for a number of calls that he said were incorrectly ruled against his side.
"A 6-2 penalty count in the second half [is what stands out]," Parish said.
"I have got a whole squad of shattered blokes down there, do you think they could do any more than they did today?
"Last week there were three video decisions that went against us and cost us 14 points. Today we led all but the end and got penalised 6-2 in the second half in a tough game.
"Mate, we get treated like second-class citizens. It is about time they took a bit of notice."
As well as the penalty count – which ended up 10-7 in New Zealand's favour – Parish said his side were victims of several acts of foul play which went unpunished.
"What about Ben Roberts…[he] does a kick and the bloke, Adam Blair, who was taking kickers out left, right and centre all day [takes him out]. So Frank (Pritchard) pushed him and they come back and give New Zealand a penalty," Parish said.
"That is a game changer, we were up 12-6 then with 20 minutes to go.
"Mose Masoe gets a chicken wing, play on. Tim Simona they get him in a head lock, play on.
"That's a shame that we are talking about rules and referees after such a great game of footy, isn't it? It is a real shame.
"They all deserve better than what they got today."
Had the Samoans been able to hold on for victory in front of the 16, 912-strong crowd at Whangarei's Toll Stadium they would have become the first fourth-seeded nation to win a Four Nations match.
A dejected Frank Pritchard said the mood in the away dressing room was one of despair after losing a game by six points or fewer for the second week in a row.
"It is a tough pill to swallow considering a couple of calls didn't go our way," the veteran Bulldog said.
"After last week's good performance we should have, could have won.
"The boys are pretty emotional downstairs.
"It is not easy but we have just got to pull together.
"We are definitely not here to make up the numbers; the boys wear the jersey with pride and honour.
"Today to lead with a couple of minutes to go and not get a call go our way, what can you say? What can you do?"
The Samoans now travel to WIN Stadium where they will face the Kangaroos on Sunday night.
With their hopes of advancing now all but gone Pritchard said they will treat the game as a virtual grand final.