New Zealand Warriors head coach Andrew Webster has refused to blame a horror missed call from the match officials as the reason for his side's heavy loss to the Brisbane Broncos in the second NRL preliminary final on Saturday evening.
After taking a 24-12 lead into the halftime break, the Broncos failed to extend their advantage during what was an arm wrestle to begin the second 40 minutes.
That was until a raid to the right-hand side saw Reece Walsh break through the line with a turn of speed.
As the defence scrambled to shut Walsh down, he threw a one-armed offload to Selwyn Cobbo, with the pass going a couple of metres forward. Cobbo's pass back on the inside to a supporting Jordan Riki then also went forward before the second-rower streaked away to score.
Webster said the decision was wrong, but admitted his side should never have allowed Walsh to break through the defensive line.
“No, certainly not,” Webster said in his post-match press conference when quizzed as to whether the forward pass decided the contest.
“The forward pass was so wrong it wasn't funny. But at the end of the day, they made a linebreak, they made a linebreak, we allowed the linebreak, and the forward pass comes off the back of that.
“We weren't defending well during that period.
“The forward pass was so wrong, but we're not crying over that. It certainly didn't cost us the game.”
The forward pass leading to a try was compounded just minutes later when Adam Pompey was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul as Brisbane again looked to add to their advantage on the back of a penalty.
With Pompey in the sin bin, the Broncos would score another try to put the contest to bed and book their spot in next weekend's grand final against the Penrith Panthers.