Warriors confused by penalty try ruling
Any match that goes to golden point is bound to have a defining moment that could have altered the result, and that was certainly the case in Cronulla's thrilling 19-18 extra-time win over the Warriors.
On Saturday night, the biggest talking point was the decision to award a penalty try to the Sharks after the bunker ruled Simon Mannering had definitively denied Cronulla's Jayson Bukuya a try-scoring opportunity in the 48th minute.
Bukuya appeared to be in the best position to collect a Michael Ennis grubber before Mannering made contact with him in the chase for the loose ball.
It's not the first time the Warriors have been involved in debate surrounding penalty tries after Ken Maumalo was sent to the sin bin for denying Roosters winger Joseph Manu an opportunity to score last week, while they were unlucky not to receive one back in Round 5 against the Roosters when Ryan Hoffman was dragged back by Aidan Guerra.
Warriors coach Andrew McFadden conceded the ruling didn't cost his side the match, but said he was still disappointed with the decision to award Cronulla the try.
"To me that looks like it's a bit of media pressure by the looks of it," McFadden said after the game.
"It's not that we disagree with the decision, but that's a different interpretation from what they've been doing."
Warriors skipper Ryan Hoffman questioned the decision with the on-field officials, agreeing with his coach that the interpretation had seemingly changed from last week.
"There have been quite a few this year where they couldn't definitively know if he's going to score the try," Hoffman said.
"I don't know what's changed in the last couple of weeks for them to reckon that there's absolutely no doubt that he was going to score that try with a bouncing ball bouncing everywhere."
It wasn't just the Warriors who were shocked by the decision, with Sharks coach Shane Flanagan telling media that he would have been disappointed if he had been on the other end of the call.
Having been the beneficiary of the decision this time around, Flanagan said he wanted to see consistency from the video review officials when adjudicating on penalty tries.
"If the shoe was on the other foot I'd be questioning it because I've seen that happen before," Flanagan said.
"I think it was a brave decision by the referees to award it because we would have scored, bar the grounding. There was no one back there. If that is a penalty try then they should continue to give it for the rest of the year.
"I think it was Mannering – he knew they were going to score. The only thing in doubt is whether he grounds it properly. I suppose there's a little chance for error there, but if they're going to do it, let's continue to do it for the rest of the year."
Sharks skipper Paul Gallen didn't think he would see the green light flash up on the big screen, but argued that decision made up for a no-try ruling against Ben Barba in the first half when the fullback was adjudged to have lost the ball on halfway.
"I didn't think it'd be a try to be honest. I thought it was a bit of a harsh call against them," Gallen said.
"But in saying that I thought there was no doubt Ben Barba's try in the first half was a try. Sometimes you get some and sometimes you don't. Fortunately for us we got that one."