You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Dragons player Junior Amone.

Dragons coach Anthony Griffin said a turnover forced by Nathan Cleary that was quickly followed by a try in Penrith's 34-16 win on Friday night should have been called back for a shoulder charge.

Having just scored to go up 22-6, Penrith were defending a Jack Bird kick return in the 54th minute when Cleary forced the ball free by driving his shoulder under the ball and forcing it loose.

Matt Burton scored what was effectively a game-sealing try seconds later.

Griffin was unhappy with the ruling, one of what he thought were "a couple of dodgy calls" in the contest.

"How that gets awarded a try, I don't know," Griffin said.

Match Highlights: Dragons v Panthers

"It was a clear cut shoulder charge; that's the one they brought the rule in for where you don't use your arms.

"Mika Ravalawa's had three suspensions this year for hitting blokes around the belly button and not using his arms and that's a try-scoring bit of vision that they had to go back and watch and watch so I don't know how they cleared that. It's a massive play.

"It's six points against the run of play and that was, unfortunately, our night. We came here and played a high-intensity game for 80 minutes but intercepts and a couple of calls like that, it makes it hard.

"Our club has been really resilient all year and I thought tonight again as a group in general they represented us pretty well. The scoreline was just a bit against us but it is what it is, the last few weeks but we've just got to keep coming."

Griffin bemused by no call on 'clear cut shoulder charge' by Cleary

Cleary was asked about the same tackle and said not only did he not believe it wasn't a shoulder charge but added the incident was checked and cleared at the time.

"I definitely wasn't trying to shoulder charge," Cleary said.

"I just saw him try and pick me out off the kick-chase and I knew I was going to have to put my body on the line.

"I knew there was someone [Isaah Yeo] next to me so I tried to lift my arm but I couldn't really get it all the way across because he was right next to me.

"I don't think it was a shoulder charge. The ref said they were checking it on the video ref.

"Andrew McCullough asked the ref at the time about the shoulder charge and they said it was clear."

Even more to like about Talatau Amone for Dragons fans

While Griffin wasn't happy with the officiating, he was pleased with the late cameo of budding playmaker Junior Amone, who scored one try, set up another and all-but set up a third.

"He goes to the game," Griffin said.

Nathan Cleary explains on-field process around Bird tackle

"He's a really lovely kid, he's a classy footballer. We played him in the centres, threw him back at five-eighth which is his natural position that he came through in the juniors.

"He's just got that touch of class about him. Against a really good defensive team he set a couple of line breaks up and scored one himself.

"With him and [Tyrell] Sloan and [Jayden] Sullivan and [Cody] Ramsey and those guys, the guys we've got coming through our club, it's a good shot in the arm for him to go out and do that against a good defensive side while the team was a little bit on the back foot at times, he did a good job I thought."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners