Frustrated Barrett to seek clarification over late penalty ruling
Manly coach Trent Barrett has indicated he will seek clarification with NRL referee's boss Bernard Sutton over several decisions in the Sea Eagles' 14-13 loss over Melbourne on Saturday night.
Along with a strip call on the Storm's Curtis Scott, Barrett has questioned why a deciding penalty, that allowed Storm skipper Cameron Smith to kick a penalty goal with nine minutes remaining, was issued after an accidental offside ruling.
Storm halfback Brodie Croft placed the cross-field kick that was batted back by Suliasi Vunivalu, which ricocheted off the head of Trent Hodkinson with Sea Eagles teammate Joel Thompson landing on the ball.
Barrett believed the decision should have been a scrum call in favour of the Storm.
The penalty was awarded seconds after Thompson played the ball in the ensuing play.
"I thought we were the better team to be honest, one of those nights where I've got to be careful with what I say," Barrett said.
"But I will be having a really good look and asking a fair few questions about some of the calls that went against us tonight.
"There was a few and I can mention them without criticising the referees. But I need to get clarification on the accidental offside, that's not a penalty with the tap back there. It's an accidental offside, it's a scrum.
"The dubious pass for their first try, the strip on Matty Wright ... there's a few. That's hard to take because our effort and attitude was fantastic. I thought we done enough to win the game.
"There's some things that happened that I really feel for the players because it's a bit out of their control, some of [the calls] going the other way.
"It's heart breaking given the position we're in, we had to win every game to make the semis."
Storm coach Craig Bellamy admitted he was confused with the ruling, and understood Barrett's frustration.
Meanwhile, Barrett conceded the loss marked the end of any late surge the Sea Eagles had in mind towards the NRL Telstra Premiership finals.
But the club's emergence of youth – more recently Manase Fainu and Tom Wright – will mean there is plenty to play for in the remaining seven games.
"They're proud to be here and these young blokes are enjoying every first grade game they've got," Barrett said.
"I know my senior players care a lot about the joint and they'll be ripping in every week.
"We'll be better for it, but it doesn't make it any easier to take. We'll go out and try to win every week and see what happens in the backend.
"You'd love to be in a position to still has something to play for. Mathematically it's going to be extremely hard but we've just got to keep getting better.
"We owe it to our fans to end the year well."