No apology to Warriors or fans from NRL’s Graham Annesley following controversial loss to Roosters

The Warriors were on the end of a number of 50/50 calls against the Roosters. Picture: STUFF SPORTS.

Match officials in the Roosters and Warriors NRL match “made a rod for their own back” with inconsistencies but if the New Zealand club’s fans were looking for an apology, they will be left sorely disappointed.

A number of controversial calls went against the Warriors during its 22-14 loss to the Roosters on Sunday but the Warriors downplayed the incidents despite their fans blowing up on social media.

Graham Annesley, the NRL’s executive general manager of elite football, brought up two incidents from the match in his weekly briefing but there was no apology – as has, at times, been the case previously when NRL clubs have copped multiple poor calls in close games.

And if that didn’t anger Warriors fans – who have been vocal on social media since Sunday – the fact some of the most contentious calls were not addressed surely will.

The Jesse Arthars’ no try, James Tedesco’s professional foul and Kevin Naiqama’s shocking forward pass didn’t earn a mention from Annesley.

Post-match Warriors coach Nathan Brown played down the numerous controversial calls the Warriors copped as 50/50 decisions, refusing to blame the officials, knowing poor mistakes and last tackle options cost his club as much as any officials’ decisions.

Instead, Annesley highlighted Warriors captain Addin Fonua-Blake’s unsuccessful captain’s challenge for a clear strip from Angus Crichton.

With 13 minutes remaining in the match and the Warriors working the ball off their own line, Fonua-Blake was called for a lost ball.

Despite the replays sowing a strip from Crichton in the ruck, bunker official Allan Shortall reviewed the incident and stuck with referee Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski’s on-field decision.

Annesley conceded the incident should have earnt the Warriors a penalty given Warriors centre Adam Pompey was pinged for a similar incident.

“I think if there is interference in the ruck that causes a player to lose the ball, they should be treated consistently,” Annesley said at his briefing on Tuesday.

“And in this case, although the incidents are different, you can’t get away from the fact that the action of the defender, in both cases, played some part in the player in procession losing the ball.

“I think we have to treat them consistently.”

Annesley maintained the ruck incidents were 50/50 calls.

“In isolation, these two incidents are probably justifiable … the way the referee and the bunker ruled on these two incidents,” Annesley said.

He said the referee and Shortall had created a bit of a rod for their own back in the way they officiated the two similar incidents so differently.

“The way these two incidents were approached certainly doesn’t help us to avoid criticism of consistency,” Annesley said.

He finished his weekly briefing with an impassioned plea that there was no truth in recent criticism from Cowboys coach Todd Payten and then Titans coach Justin Holbrook, plus members of the media, around smaller clubs not getting 50/50 calls over major clubs.

Annesley strongly denied there was any bias towards or against any NRL club.

Meanwhile, the Warriors will welcome back Matt Lodge – who missed the loss to the Roosters – and Jazz Tevaga from suspension for Monday’s traditional Anzac day clash against the high-flying Melbourne Storm.

Warriors: Reece Walsh, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Jesse Arthars, Adam Pompey, Edward Kosi, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Shaun Johnson; Addin Fonua-Blake (c), Wayde Egan, Matt Lodge, Euan Aitken, Bayley Sironen, Josh Curran. Interchange (from): Kodi Nikorima, Bunty Afoa, Aaron Pene, Eliesa Katoa, Taniela Otukolo, Jazz Tevaga, Viliami Vailea, Rocco Berry, Valingi Kepu, Junior Ratuva, Garrett Smith.

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