Johnathan Thurston looks to the skies during the Cowboys' Round 25 clash with Melbourne.

Cowboys denied try of the year contender

It would have gone down as the try of the year, but it remains unofficial because it did not stand. 

 

Instead it would only leave the Cowboys ruing what might have been following their 14-6 defeat at the hands of the Storm on Saturday night at AAMI Park.

The controversial moment arrived less than two minutes before half-time as the visitors trailed 8-0.

It started on the Cowboys' own 30 metre line when Johnathan Thurston played a wide pass to Lachlan Coote who sliced through the defence down the left side.

The fullback then played a one-two with Kane Linnett before managing an offload back into the hands of Thurston. The playmaker then placed a chip kick out to the right side when a running Kyle Feldt slid over to cap off a brilliant move.

However before every Cowboys player could arrive to partake in the celebrations the try was sent upstairs for a review.

A minute later the wonder play was stripped from the record books as though it had never happened.

The video referees ruled that Gavin Cooper had obstructed Cooper Cronk when Thurston played his initial pass, sending the ball 70 metres back to where it all started.

 

 

That took the wind out of the Cowboys' sails and they never really threatened from that point on.

"I think confusing is a good way to put it," coach Paul Green said of the decision after the game.

"I've got to be careful of what I say about referee decisions but given the description on what an obstruction is… Cooper Cronk was up in our line and he stopped so I thought he instigated the contact.

"Once again on the obstruction rule I'm a little bit confused because of that tonight."

Melbourne then extended their lead three minutes after the restart and from there it was a hill too great to climb for the visitors. 

While Green acknowledged his side's inability to handle the slippery conditions played a part in the result he was adamant that the 'no-try' ruling in the shadows of half-time was the defining moment.

"It would have made a massive difference, 8-6 at halftime is a lot different to 8-nil," Green said.

"They score first in the second half and we are down 14-nil. That changes the game a lot. Not taking anything away from Melbourne but it certainly would have changed the context of the game."

Saturday's defeat now means the Cowboys will finish in third spot regardless of how results fall next week.

They must now prepare for a qualifying final away to either the Broncos or the Roosters.