By STEVE MASCORD
GIANT prop James Tamou doesn’t feel like Manly beat his North Queensland Cowboys on Friday night, adding that neither side played to a finals standard.
While the Sea Eagles’s 22-12 win was marred by major refereeing controversies, many saw it as a sterling Manly performance – particularly defensively,
But Tamou tells RLW: “It didn’t feel like we were beaten. It was a tough one to swallow.
“In saying that, we didn’t come out to play like a semi-final football team – but neither did they.”
The Cowboys felt two calls – tries awarded to Jorge Taufua and Michael Oldfield – were clearly wrong. Tamou said video referees should go on “first glance” and not look at replays repeatedly.
“As we were standing there on the sideline, watching the big screen, the more they watched it, the more you feared the call was going to go against us. It was just hard to bear,” Tamou said.
Centre Brent Tate was at a loss to say what can be done to improve refereeing standards.
“I mean – we’ve spoken about getting the standard of them up and I don’t know how you do it, what you do?” he said.
“The players are probably leaving them behind a little bit, to be honest. We’ve tried two refs . I don’t know.
“It’s disappointing that these are the headlines – that we’re talking about some decisions that are what I’d like to call a lottery.
“We’ve been talking about it deciding games all year. I’ve got about 30-odd text on my phone saying that we were … very unlucky … if I can use those words.
“It’s a lottery. It’s a real lottery. I don’t want to take credit away from Manly because they’re a bloody good side and they know how to win those tight games but crucial calls at crucial times – especially in semi-finals – you just can’t come back from that.
“That’s what happened to us.
“You can cop losing. I’ve been around a long time and you can cop losses but that’s a real bitter pill to swallow. That’s hard to take. That’s really disappointing.”
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK