Cry me a river Manly!
Is it any wonder Newcastle fans [and most others to be fair] love to hate the Sea Eagles after their carry-on following Sunday's 14-12 defeat at the hands of the Knights at Brookvale Oval.
What a bunch of A grade whingers.
Manly had around 65 percent of the footy and the rub of the green from referee Grant Atkins on just about every 50-50 call in the second half yet scored one solitary try. And that came off the back of two consecutive sets of six on Newcastle's line after the Knights were pulled back moments earlier for a forward pass on halfway that was line ball at worst.
So to then blow up deluxe after the game and days later for what happened in the final few seconds is beyond the pale.
In a split second after kicking the ball as the cover converged, Eagles winger Tevita Funa was pushed in the back by Bradman Best who, coming from behind, reacted instinctively and had next to no time to pull out of the tackle.
Funa was no chance of getting to the ball first ahead of Andrew McCullough in the Knights in-goal anyway as he collided with Tex Hoy another split second later and finished up flat on his back.
There were howls of protest from Manly players and fans at the ground when the slow motion replay of the incident appeared to incriminate Best. But the game is not played in slow motion.
If we are going to suddenly penalise players for making contact with a kicker a split second after he kicks the ball or an attacking player a split second after he passes the ball, the game will become a penalty-a-thon. There will be a penalty in every set of six.
As it was, Manly would have still had to kick the penalty goal from the sideline after fulltime to even send the game into golden point. But the way many Manly fans and some of their players reacted, it was if they had been robbed of victory.
NRL head of football Graham Annesley came out on Monday and said in his opinion, he would have penalised Best. But at the same time, he said it was a "line ball" decision and was not critical of video referee Jared Maxwell for calling play on. Maxwell will be in the video refs' box for three games this weekend.
What goes around, comes around in rugby league but when it comes to the Knights, it seems like the Sea Eagles have convenient short memories.
Back in June 2017, the Knights lost to the Eagles at Brookvale 18-14 after winger Akuila Uate was awarded a try by referee Ashley Klein after he clearly knocked the ball on over the line.
The touch judge was innocent. He was suspicious and asked Klein to go to the video to check on the grounding but before he could signal that, the video ref broke protocol and told Klein it was okay and to go ahead and award the try without a replay. It was a huge clanger.
Manly coach Trent Barrett later said: "We were lucky - some weeks you get them."
The video ref that day was Maxwell. Maybe on Sunday, he thought he owed the Knights one. Or just maybe he believed the contact was too close to call late and warrant a Manly penalty.