NRL world fumes at sin bin ‘travesty’

#nrlcowboyssharks, June 18, 2021, @NRL

Robson’s sin-binning dashed any hopes of a Cowboys win. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

A controversial sin bin with two minutes remaining cost the Cowboys any chance of pulling off a comeback for the ages as they fell agonisingly short against a Cronulla side that leapfrogged them into seventh spot.

North Queensland looked down and out with seven minutes to go when they found themselves behind 26-12, but two tries in as many sets to Kyle Feldt turned the game on its head, with the hosts riding all the momentum.

However, a high shot by Reece Robson on Aiden Tolman brought that to a grinding halt, with the Bunker telling referee Peter Gough that he had no choice but to march the Cowboys hooker for 10 minutes for making high, direct and forceful contact.

The commentators were bemused and the fans were filthy as the Sharks kicked deep and held on as Valentine Holmes’ 43-metre two-point field goal attempt fell short.

“He went down very low,” commentator Warren Smith said on Fox League.

“I don’t know what more Reece Robson could have done there … his head is three-feet off the ground.

Balmain great Steve Roach replied: “What can he do? He can’t disappear!”

Smith continued: “That is absolutely insane.

“That is an absolute rugby league accident. You won’t remove that from the game.

“Here we are in a two-point game, and the Sharks get a penalty, and it might well help them get over the line.

“Nobody wants to see concussion in a game … but that is an absolute travesty.”

Literally just came on twitter tonight to see the #nrlcowboyssharks thread. Worst call ever. Ruined a good finish. Decided the game. Tackled at knee height, still called “high” I cant with this game. Good to see everyone cant either!

— Shannon McCann (@Shannon_McCann) June 18, 2021

The NRL has lost the plot. Even the ref felt embarrassed sending Robson to the sin-bin for that. #nrlcowboyssharks

— Travis Meyn (@travismeyn) June 18, 2021

You’re a disgrace NRL #nrlcowboyssharks

— Luke McGarry (@LukeMcGarry7) June 18, 2021

@NRL It's now mad. You tackle as low as you can & bc the runner dives low & collects an arm, the tackler is given 10. That will do me for the new Rugba League. And it changed the result. You cannot hang all head knocks. AFL game tonight will be a cracker. #nrlcowboyssharks

— Chris Smith (@chrissmithonair) June 18, 2021

How’s the footy everyone? Enjoying?

— Phil Gould (@PhilGould15) June 18, 2021

#nrlcowboyssharks, June 18, 2021, @NRL

Unwanted forward Aaron Woods was one of the Sharks’ best on Friday night. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

WINGING IT

The race for the Maroons’ left wing position is muddier than ever after Kyle Feldt scored a late brace to save what had otherwise been a disastrous night for the Queensland incumbent.

Feldt was virtually unsighted in attack until he scored two powerful tries at the death, but he also came up with a cold drop from a bomb and sent a kick-off sailing out on the full as his hopes of playing in Game Two took a hit.

Ronaldo Mulitalo, the man tipped to replace him, did his Origin chances no harm with another strong performance on the left wing.

Few people had him on the radar at the start of the season, but Mulitalo has rocketed into contention with four tries in three games since he made his return from an injury.

The Sharks winger is no stranger to the State of Origin arena having represented Queensland at under-18s and 20s level, and is now in line to make a shock debut in Game Two as the Maroons look to atone for their 50-6 shellacking in the opener.

Mulitalo scored a try on Friday and had plenty of tough carries coming out of trouble, but it was his defensive reads that would have pleased Queensland coach Paul Green the most, including one decision to jam in that stopped an attacking raid in its tracks.

Left-edge partner Will Chambers, who is also reportedly in the mix, scored a try but came up with some awful defensive reads at the end.

SIGNATURE PERFORMANCES

The Sharks have now won four in the trot to move into seventh, and they can thank a few of their off-contract veterans for helping them turn their season around.

Aaron Woods was as strong as ever up front, running for 114 metres from 15 carries to go with a soft four-pointer in the first half.

But it was Shaun Johnson who must have caught the eye of potential suitors with another strong showing as his trusty right boot landed five goals from as many attempts and was also inch-perfect to set up Connor Tracey with a pinpoint grubber.

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