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Sharks coach John Morris asserted that "even under-7s" would have called a crucial knock-on against the Eels late in his side's 14-12 loss on Sunday.

Morris will seek clarity from NRL head of football Graham Annesley on Monday after referee Ben Cummins ruled Parramatta winger Blake Ferguson knocked the ball backwards in the 67th minute.

Shaun Lane then made an error but the Eels, having advanced into Sharks territory, pushed in the scrum and stole possession.

Cronulla gave away a penalty moments later and Parramatta halfback Mitch Moses slotted the decisive penalty goal.

"Our boys stopped, Dylan Brown makes a break and another 50-50 penalty goes against us," Morris said at Netstrata Jubilee Oval.

Mulitalo with the backwards put down

Morris said it was "an ordinary passage of play", adamant the Eels should not have been up their end following Ferguson's spill.

"It can't go back. Blake is running onto the ball, touches the ball. That's a knock-on," he said with the now eighth-placed Sharks missing the chance to go to fifth.

"We got done for one a bit earlier like that with Jesse Ramien. That’s a knock-on. Under-7s watching that game of football know that’s a knock-on. It was clearly a knock-on.

Match Highlights: Sharks v Eels

"Then Brown picks it up, makes a half-break and then we go down there for that scrum."

The second-year coach was also "confused" about the situation where Parramatta drove the scrum to retain the ball against the feed.

"It looked pretty ugly to me. I’ve seen a lot of those throughout the year get called back," Morris said.

Sharks: Round 13

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"No you can’t push, yes, you can push - what are the rules around scrums these days? Are we allowed to push like that?

"Good play, Parramatta - if you’re allowed to push and it’s play on, I'm happy for it and I'm happy for that to be a big play in the game."

Morris felt Cronulla were perhaps unlucky not to be awarded a "50-50" first-half try to Ronaldo Mulitalo, who finished with a double, when the young winger was ruled offside by the NRL Bunker.

Mulitalo had flown through to ground a Shaun Johnson grubber.

"I can't really question the video ref on it. The touch judge was right there, the ref's there - they send it up try," he said.

"I thought it was try but of course I'm going to think that ... 

Sharks winger Sione Katoa.
Sharks winger Sione Katoa. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

"But at the end of the day, Parra were good enough to stay in the fight and kick that penalty goal and take away the two points.

"That's why they're in the top four."

Cronulla scored three tries to Parramatta's two, but Johnson's three missed conversions proved costly.

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