The North Queensland Cowboys season was very strange.
Earlier in the season many had them tipped to be one of the premiership heavyweights. As they season progressed though the Cowboys just didn’t look right.
I don’t think anyone ever questioned whether the Cowboys had the talent. They are always a dangerous team, they have a good back line, they have a very good pack of forwards and behind all of that you have the pure magic of Thurston and Bowen that can turn a game all on their own. The Cowboys really should have done a whole lot better this season.
Eventually, as the season looked to be going downhill, Neil Henry was told he wasn’t wanted for next season. It seemed like it was time for a change and you really couldn’t argue with it. Henry chose to see out the season, and something very strange started to happen. The Cowboys started to win games…
The Cowboys winning streak was ended on Saturday night by a terrible refereeing decision. It does not matter what the NRL says, how much they apologize, how many “investigations” they want to hold or how thing will change in the future. Nothing will fix what happened to the North Queensland Cowboys on Saturday night.
I have seen a lot of people suggesting that the now infamous 7 tackle try didn’t effect the game. That the Sharks managed to go the entire length of the field during those seven tackles, and that is just bad defense.
I have seen people suggest that no one on the field knew that 7 tackles had been allowed. That it didn’t effect the Cowboys in terms of feeling like they had been duded. That the Cowboys had ample time to overcome the set back and that other incidents in the game by both sides show that over the course of the game, things evened up to a certain extent.
That doesn’t change the fact that if that Sharks try was not score, the result would have been different. You can’t say for certain that the Cowboys would have won the game, but we do know that if you take those 4 points off the Sharks total, the Cowboys lead on the scoreboard.
When it comes to refereeing mistakes my feeling is that they all even out at the end. You get calls go for you, and calls that go against you. Referees are human, they make mistakes just like players do. You just have to hope that those mistakes don’t happen at a critical point in your season.
Unfortunately for the Cowboys, that is exactly what did happen. While I think the reaction of some within their club has been disgraceful, I completely understand the absolute outrage that people feel over a season ending mistake.
The on field officials in charge of this game are unlikely to control another NRL game this season. That doesn’t really mean much to the Cowboys though, their season is over, and now the club looks to be moving on to a new era that will see them under the guidance of a new coach and without the incredible Matthew Bowen in the number one jersey.
I feel really sorry for the Cowboys and their fans. They got screwed by a terrible decision for the second season in a row. The rotten thing is, nothing anyone says or does from this point on will stop them from hurting.
Its just a rotten situation that we hopefully will not see happen again…
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com