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Cronulla's Paul Gallen.

Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has questioned a decision to allow a match-winning try to Brisbane winger Corey Oates in his team's 20-16 loss to the Broncos at Southern Cross Group Stadium on Saturday night.

The 69th-minute pass from Brisbane skipper Darius Boyd certainly floated forward but was deemed to be backwards out of the hands and was followed up by a stunning grounding by Corey Oates for what proved to be the decisive try of the game.

"Passes can travel forward but that travelled forward five meters, the Darius Boyd pass to Oates. Wow. That's all I can say on that one," Flanagan said.

"We measured it, where he passed it was on the line and where he received it is five metres in front of him. That's a long way."

Flanagan also questioned the mid-season change in interpretations announced during the week by CEO Todd Greenberg and ARL chair Peter Beattie that the officials would be toning down the penalty blitz to no longer look for nit picking penalties.

"I got a phone call from the referees boss yesterday (Friday) trying to clarify Todd's comments or put some background to Todd's comments. I found it amazing the referees boss was ringing me on the Friday before a game explaining the CEO's comments," Flanagan said.

"Saying it's going to change now at this stage of the year, they're not going to give nit picking penalties."

Match highlights: Sharks v Broncos – Round 15, 2018

He went on to add he believed there was still at least one such call, against Matt Prior, but also blasted his own team's horror first half completion rate for contributing to the loss.

"We beat ourselves, 11 errors, our first half," Flanagan said.

"We showed some fight in the second half and out ourselves in the game and gave ourselves a chance to win it but we needed to be better in the first half but it proves to me we can beat teams like that. If we play anywhere near our best we should win tonight."

Skipper Paul Gallen agreed the team fought back well to level the scores in the second half and said any number of key moments could have gone the other way.

"We had Val's try disallowed in the second half (for a forward pass), one disallowed in the first half (for an obstruction) and as Flanno said that [Oates] try to them could have gone either way," Gallen said.

"A lot of calls could have gone either way for us but as Flanno said it was our errors, our completion rate cost us in the end."

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