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18 Nov 2017 17:42
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    McGregor's ref rant after Dragons NRL loss

    Newcastle have scored a 21-14 upset home win over St George Illawarra, with Dragons NRL coach Paul McGregor unloading post-game about the referees and bunker.

    - article from

    St George Illawarra NRL coach Paul McGregor has blown up at referees and the bunker, describing them as embarrassing and incompetent after Saturday's 21-14 loss to Newcastle.

    McGregor will come under scrutiny by the league and is danger of copping a hefty fine for his post-match spray at officials.

    He was livid after his side were twice denied by the video referees in the first half as the Dragons went down to the two-time wooden spooners.

    First, Tim Lafai's effort was disallowed after Jason Nightingale was controversially ruled to have knocked on while contesting a bomb.

    Then minutes later, Nene MacDonald ran 95 metres to cross between the posts only to have it called back after Tyson Frizell was ruled to have pulled back Trent Hodkinson.

    "Embarrassing and incompetent," McGregor said when asked about both decisions which were referred to the bunker.

    Asked if they got it wrong, McGregor said: "Definitely - I think that anyone who knows rugby league would agree because the ball went back on the Nightingale one and it should have been overruled and it wasn't and Hodkinson took a dive."

    Asked if the decisions were especially disappointing, given the bunker had time to deliberate on them, he said: "It is. When you spend millions of dollars, it is."

    He will seek a please-explain from referees boss Tony Archer. McGregor was also furious after a decision late in the game handed the Knights possession while the Dragons were on the attack.

    Josh Dugan raced down the right side and passed to MacDonald on the outside however the ball seemingly deflected off Ken Sio into touch.

    "He knocks it on, knocks it into touch and we don't get the ball," McGregor said.

    The result is a massive blow to the Dragons' top-eight hopes and they sit in eighth, equal with Penrith on 24 points.

    Having led the competition after seven rounds, they have lost seven of their past 11.

    For Nathan Brown's side, it broke an eight-game losing streak and was just their third win of the year.

    After being so poor this year at crucial times in games, the Knights were able to get home thanks to a Jacob Saifiti try eight minutes from the end and a Hodkinson field goal.

    Brown rejected the notion that the referees had decided the game, saying his side had been forced to roll with the punches all year.

    "Mate, we've had as much bad luck as anyone this year," Brown said.

    "I could tell you a thousand things but, at the end of the day, you've got to be good enough to find a way.

    "That's why I don't come in here complaining about the officials because these young kids need to learn."

    © 2017 NZN, NZCity

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