Cowboys confused by contentious calls
Cowboys coach Paul Green was full of praise for a grand final rematch on Friday night that delivered the greatest rugby league spectacle since they last met; he just wants some explanation as to how it got there.
As it did six months earlier a field goal in golden point extra time was all that separated the two teams but unlike the extraordinary of events on the first Sunday of October this time it was the Broncos who were victorious.
An Anthony Milford field goal from 40 metres out clinched a 21-20 win for the Broncos that featured more drama than a season of Game of Thrones and left a rather bitter aftertaste in the mouths of Green and co-captain Johnathan Thurston.
In the pulsating final stages alone the Cowboys were denied three tries that would have sealed victory and could very easily have all gone their way.
Ethan Lowe was ruled to have run an illegal line as a block runner for Morgan's try, Morgan's pass for Feldt's try was ruled marginally forward while Thurston was unsure whether it was he or Feldt who had been pinged for a knock on after he dived over in the fourth minute of extra-time.
There was so much to absorb in such a short space of time that in some respects Green's head was still spinning as he fronted the post-match media conference.
"I don't want to be talking about this stuff, it was a great game," Green said of the contentious calls.
"We had our chances to win that game but full credit to the Broncos. Once again it was a great contest between the two teams and we're getting a bit of a rivalry and tradition for really good games. That's the message that should be coming out post-match.
"I am confused about some of the decisions, I'm disappointed about some of the decisions but I'm not going to use that as an excuse for the result.
"We had our chances tonight. We defended well, we scored more tries than they did, they got eight points off penalty goals and discipline is probably something that we need to look at."
Thurston was involved in an animated discussion with referee Bernard Sutton in the wake of the game's thrilling conclusion but said he was no clearer about why his potential match-winner was not awarded.
"He couldn't give me an explanation on who the knock on was from," Thurston said.
"I asked him if it was from 'Feldty' or myself and he couldn't give me an explanation.
"It's a shame that we're talking about all these decisions because it was such a good game and a great game to be a part of but the decisions have overshadowed what was a great spectacle."
Like a teenager tortured by having to watch the moment their girlfriend broke up with them, the Cowboys coaching staff and officials watched the moments in question over and over again in the sheds afterwards, somehow hoping for a different result.
The one that caused Thurston the greatest confusion was the call on Lowe that saw Morgan's try overturned by the review officials.
Running an inside line, Lowe came in contact with Alex Glenn but the fact that Morgan scored on the outside of Milford's shoulder should have been reason enough to award the try according to Thurston.
"It all just depends where the hole is," said the Cowboys co-captain.
"If the attacker out the back comes back on the inside and that player has been taken out from the lead runner then I can understand where the penalty will be but if it's unfolding on the next hole then I can't understand.
"I think it was Glenn that Lowey hit and Morgo has run to the next hole which was Milford's outside shoulder.
"If Morgo steps off his right and beats Milf on the inside shoulder then I can understand that's where the obstruction is, but he's beaten him on the outside shoulder so it's had no bearing on the play."