By STEVE MASCORD
MANLY coach Geoff Toovey said overtime should be scrapped because draws are a fair result – but also argued the Monday Night Football deadlock with Melbourne was completely unfair.
Toovey was fuming after the epic 10-10 AAMI Park result, which came after a 79th minute Cameron Smith penalty goal levelled the ledger and the sides played out a scoreless overtime period.
Asked if the result was fair, Toovey said: “It wasn’t .
“I think everyone saw the match. Ten-five penalty count. They had to defend. I’m very proud of their effort. They gutsed it out against all odds.
“Whilst it’s character-building, geez we don’t want to be doing that every week. It’s wrong.
“It’s no use doing anything. You just back up.
“I could see things from fifty metres away that people down there apparently couldn’t.”
While playmaker Kieran Foran said on television he would have been happy to keep playing, Toovey wanted the golden point system scrapped.
“After 80 minutes, if it’s a draw, it’s only my personal opinion but it should be a draw,” he said. “When we’re having field goal shootouts, it’s just crazy.
“There’re 26 rounds in the competition. There’s enough football played. You want to see the guys busted and bleeding? It’s a gladiatorial sport, I know, but we’ve got to look after our players as well.”
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy said the debate was “six of one and half a dozen of the other. If you play the 10 minutes and get a result, everyone’s happy. If you play it and don’t get a result, you’ve done it for nothing, you may as well call it off after the 80 minutes.”
Bellamy argued the penalty which edged Manly in front 10-8 with 13 minutes left, when Eagle George Rose was ruled to have been stripped of the ball, was incorrect. “I thought we could have got a few more penalties,” he said.
“It (penalty for ball-steal) was pretty doubtful alright. He looked like he bobbled it. There was no raking motion there. It was a pretty big penalty and you’d like the referees to be really sure of that before they give that.
“Sisa (Waqa) got called off-side once from a kick and he was onside. Geoff can think that. That’s his opinion. That’s great. I try to take the referees out of it.”
Bellamy added he was “very happy with our attitude tonight. We looked like we were excited about playing again. We were a bit off with our defence in the first 10 minutes but after that, we defended really well.”
In other news, Bellamy admitted the biggest concern for Kiwi Test winger Matt Duffie after he was booked in for shoulder and knee surgery was how he would bounce back mentally.
“Whatever he wants to do, we’ll support him there,” said Bellamy. “A shoulder reconstruction and a knee reconstruction at the same time – I’ve never heard of that before.
“I’ve only got concerns for his future if it’s all too much for him. He’s already had a couple of shoulder reconstructions.
“He’s only a young guy. You’d like to think that if he has a free run from now, he’ll end up playing NRL next year hopefully.”
Fairfax Media was told several representatives of the Storm’s new ownership group were at the game. Asked if they had visited the dressing ooms, Bellamy said: “I didn’t know we had new owners.”
An announcement on the handover is expected on Tuesday morning.
MELBOURNE 10 (M Blair try C Smith 3 goals) drew with MANLY 10 (J Lyon try 3 goals) at AAMI Park. Referees: S Hayne/M Cecchin. Crowd: 12,921.
Filed for: SYDNEY MORNING HERALD