Manly coach Trent Barrett has channelled his inner-Geoff Toovey, labelling a controversial try “ridiculous” in the Sea Eagles’ 35-10 NRL loss to St George Illawarra.
In scenes reminiscent of Toovey’s infamous “There’s got to be an investigation” rant at Gosford in 2013, Barrett questioned why the bunker were unable to rule on a bizarre try in the third minute.
After Manly winger Matthew Wright fielded a kick on his own line and played the ball to no-one, marker Gareth Widdop scooped up the ball to score.
Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans argued he was taken out of the play – en-route to dummy-half – by Jason Nightingale following a collision, but that action didn’t appear to be viewed by the bunker.
However, when told in the post-match press conference the bunker was unable to rule on the play because it occurred before the play-the-ball, Barrett unleashed.
“That’s ridiculous,” he said.
“Mind boggling. I’ve never seen it before. You can’t do it.
“It’s a pretty big one when the dummy-half can’t get to dummy-half and they pick it up and score.
“That was under-eights stuff.”
The Sea Eagles never looked in the match after that early setback. Out of sorts and a shadow of the team that had won their three previous matches.
And while Barrett refused to blame the team’s performance on a single decision, he insisted it had some bearing on the match.
“Jason Nightingale shoved him out of the way getting to dummy-half,” he said.
“That didn’t cost us the game but that didn’t help we were flat off the kick-off but then to cop that off the end of that.
“How they gave that a try was beyond me (but) I’m not making excuses for the rest of our 75 minutes.”
Cherry-Evans was also appeared puzzled by the decision.
“It’s a shame it wasn’t involved in the whole process of going to the bunker,” Chery-Evans said.
“They neglected that situation itself.”
Manly rarely looked cohesive attack, the only highlight coming in the form of a Jorge Taufua double which led to to the 30,000th point in the club’s history.
“We were off in a big way,” Barrett said.
“We weren’t in that game at all. That performance today was chalk and cheese from the last three weeks.
“It’s a wake-up call for everyone.”