TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 12: Cowboys coach Paul Green speaks at the post match media conference at the end of during the round five NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Melbourne Storm at 1300SMILES Stadium on April 12, 2019 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

North Queensland coach Paul Green has launched a tirade against Friday night’s match officials after winger Nene Macdonald broke his leg in the 75th minute.

Macdonald was laid out on the grass for more than 30 seconds before the referees stopped play, which Green labelled as a “disgrace”.

“That was an absolute debacle,” Green said post-game.

“We had a trainer out there.

“It was explained to our captain on field that the process is that the trainer has to go to the touchie.

“Our blue shirt (trainer) was standing next to the touch judge asking them to stop the game.

“We had our doctor on the field.

“We had our yellow shirt (trainer) with the pocket ref and he got sent away.

“It’s a disgrace. We have a guy with a fractured dislocation of his ankle, clearly distressed, our doctor is on the field, and we get sent away.

“They play on … they stopped the game twice for a blood nose for christ’s sake when Melbourne had a blood nose.

“Our player’s welfare and safety was put at risk.”

The NRL have since responded to Green, with football-operations chief Graham Annesley telling The Courier-Mail the incident would be assessed.

“The laws of the game allow for play to continue while players are out of play and treated for minor injuries, but it has always been the case that when referees become aware of a possible serious injury, the game should stop,” NRL football-operations chief Graham Annesley said.

“Last night there was ample opportunity for that to happen, but it didn’t.

“We will review the video and audio of the incident and consider all the relevant circumstances to hopefully prevent it from happening again.”


  1. The ref couldn’t know the seriousness of the injury, and with so many players often faking injury to slow or stop the game, what is the ref supposed to do? It didn’t look good, but 30 seconds will make no difference to the injury. I think Green is deflecting from the Cows poor start to the season.

    • I think it was a genuine error of judgement on the ref’s part. He probably had no idea how bad it was and he was trying to keep up with the passage of play not assessing what was going on 50m behind him. His excuse at the time was pathetic. I have no doubt that green is deflecting. I don’t hear him blowing up over a deliberate eye gouge.

    • suechi did you read it both team doctors where on the field and if 2 people have to ask u 2 stop the game something has to be bad
      “Our blue shirt (trainer) was standing next to the touch judge asking them to stop the game.
      “We had our doctor on the field.
      “We had our yellow shirt (trainer) with the pocket ref and he got sent away.

  2. It is distinctly unmistakable with the evidence seen before us that the referee created a massive error, by not stopping the game, when previously he halted the game for a bleeding nose.

    As a result, 30 seconds upfield a penalty was awarded which enabled Smith to add two points to the Melbourne scorecard, when play should have been back field by 40 metres where the two seriously injured players had explicitly collided and lay waiting on the ground.

    Nevertheless if the Canterbury Bankstown club defeats Saint George Illawarra by 13 points, then we can observe the barefaced conclusive evidence, Queensland Rugby League is dead and buried, whilst three clubs at the rear end of the NRL table belonging to that country north of the boarder.

  3. Good on U greeny rip in. Like U said game stopped 4 a Storm player but good old cowboy fu#k him . The Strom got full advantage of what happened then they got a penalty they got the two points and also got to waste time so Cowboys didn’t have a chance the were the better team.

  4. Clearly an error in judgement that will be corrected.

    Take all the emotion out of it – learn from it & move on.

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