St George Illawarra Dragons coach Ryan Carr has been left fuming after his side had a pair of calls go against them during a tense loss to the Manly Sea Eagles in Wollongong on Saturday evening.

In what was Daly Cherry-Evans' 300th game, the Sea Eagles would ultimately emerge as 24 points to 18 winners - their first victory in Wollongong since 2003.

But it was two calls which dominated the headlines out of the game, with referee Chris Butler and bunker official Kasey Badger in the headlights of fans and the Dragons' players and coaching staff.

In a decision which robbed the Dragons of a try, Badger appeared to have said in her review that Dragons' forward Dan Russell had scored, only for the ruling to be held up.

Carr said it was the wording used in the bunker that had frustrated him.

“For the no-try the wording that I was given was, he has got the ball down, we just need to figure out if he is over the try line. And the next wording was, Dan Russell is clearly over the try line," Carr said during his post-match press conference.

“That is just contradictory to a no-try. That is a big moment that hurts when you are fighting as hard as you can to get a try.

“If the wording was different like, he hasn't got the ball down or he is not over the try line fair enough, but all the wording added up to it being a try, so I need to figure out why it wasn't given a try.”

In another pivotal moment, Jack de Belin would be sent to the sin bin during the second half for a hip drop tackle.

The tackle was only found on review when the game stopped for a Manly player to have his knee strapped. Given it wasn't a head injury, precedence this season would suggest play should have continued during that period.

However, the bunker used the delay to send de Belin to the sin bin, and while it didn't cost the Dragons any points, Carr took exception to the way the rules were enforced.

“De Belin was sin-binned right and the game stopped for nearly two minutes for a guy to get his knee strapped,” Carr said.

“That's not the rule. It is play-on. Either leave the field or play on. And in that moment when they made an error on halfway, we lose not only possession and field position, but we lose a man for 10 in the bin.

“It's ridiculous. It's absolutely ridiculous and I feel so sorry for my players. I feel sorry for the fans, who have to watch the game. I feel sorry for fans of rugby league in general.

“That was a good game of footy out there and a call like that just has a huge baring and impact on the game."

Carr said consistency in week-to-week officiating was "ridiculous" and that his team deserved better while also confirming he would ask the NRL for clarification on the decision.

“I am not going to sit here and say, it's OK I will ask the NRL about it or I will seek clarification,” Carr said.

“It's seriously ridiculous. Last week Junior Amone got hip-dropped by John Bateman and no penalty, it didn't come back by the Bunker and he got charged after the game.

“The contradiction in that alone is ridiculous.

“I'm sorry I am ranting but I just feel so sorry for everyone involved in our club and everyone who is invested in it because it doesn't deserve to come down to that.

“I'm not saying we win the game if he doesn't get sin-binned but we shouldn't have to go through 12 men for 10 minutes and then try and find a way to win it in the last minute. We shouldn't have to.”

The loss leaves the Dragons with a 5 and 14 record for the season, but the Red V are four points colear of the Tigers, who currently are on the path to receive the wooden spoon.


  1. Simply outrageous refereeing, the most incompetent I’ve seen in a long time. The fool in the bunker needs to be sacked immediately.

  2. Dragoon: – I have no skin in this game, but – like you – I feel the Dragons were robbed by poor decision making.

    I suppose that a lot of the trouble is that the NRL has such a small pool of qualified referees that officials (in this case Kasey Badger) will be back again next week in some role or another, regardless of how well or poorly they performed.

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