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Upset Warriors question obstruction rule

NZN 28/08/2016 By Angelo Risso

Warriors coach Andrew McFadden has refused to blame the video referee for his sides season-ending loss to the Tigers, but insists there are genuine problems with the NRL's obstruction rules.

A first-half Solomone Kata try and second-half Shaun Johnson effort were controversially annulled for obstruction before the Warriors conceded three tries in the final 10 minutes to lose 36-24.

Sunday's loss leaves the Warriors mathematically incapable of making the NRL finals series for the fifth consecutive year.

McFadden said the video referee's decision to disallow the tries - the former for an interference by Bodene Thompson and the latter after Tigers skipper Aaron Woods made contact with a Warriors attacker - lacked match awareness.

However, his side had dug their own grave with a woeful closing period, allowing Tigers five-eighth Mitchell Moses and centre Kevin Naiqama to score late winners.

"If you play them in live motion they're just not obstruction," McFadden said.

"The second one there with Woods, he's engaged the attacker, he's never going to get Johnson there.

"He's just milked it."

Captain Ryan Hoffman was aghast at his side's collapse but also rued the video referee's decisions.

He said the video referee had failed to take the context of the play into account.

"It's become a black-and-white rule but it's not a black and white situation," Hoffman said.

Tigers coach Jason Taylor disagreed, saying the bunker had made the right call.

His side had also felt slighted after referee calls throughout the season but took the good with the bad.

"You can't run around your own player and gain an advantage. It's as simple as that," Taylor said.

"If the opposition are disappointed by that, they need to have a clear look at the rule."

The sides produced a tit-for-tat match in the opening 70 minutes.

After back-rower Bodene Thompson gave the Warriors the lead, the Auckland-based side were pegged back by similar crashing efforts by props Woods and Sauaso Sue.

The Warriors then scored two tries in two minutes to take the lead into the break before losing it again after winger Josh Addo-Carr's 70m dash to the line.

A try to utility Tuimoala Lolohea gave the Warriors a brief glimpse of victory that they ultimately wasted through tries to Sue, Mitchell Moses and Kevin Naiqama.

The Titans' loss to Penrith on Saturday had given both sides the opportunity to close the gap to eighth to just one point.

McFadden was upset by his side's failure to take that opportunity, instead gifting it to Wests.

A Tigers win over Canberra next week, coupled with a Titans loss to the Cowboys, will give Wests a surprise top-eight berth.

"It's too raw, this loss," McFadden said.

"It's really shattering because we got the chance last night and we threw it away today.

"We were just too loose. It's not good enough at this level."

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