WANDERERS will seek a meeting with the referees to “get some clarity” around a number of decisions that went against the Two Blues in a tense 20-18 loss to Hamilton at Passmore Oval.
The Hawks came from 15-0 down after 15 minutes to score four-tries-to-two and inflict the first defeat on the Two Blues this season.
The scoreboard was not the only place the visitors finished on the wrong side.
Hamilton won the penalty count 16-9, including 11-4 in the first half. Wanderers replacement Tom Emayel also had a potential match-winner try disallowed after the touch judge ruled the breakaway had been tackled into touch. BarTV Sports replays showed the decision was highly contentious.
“In games like this, it only takes one decision to swing it one way or the other,” Wanderers assistant coach Bob Harrison said. “Full credit to Hamilton, they scored four tries to two but there is not a struck match between the teams. We will meet again later in the competition, but between now and then, we need some clarity from the referees with what we are doing wrong.”
Most of the penalties blown by referee Dru Tonks were for indiscretions at the breakdown and scrum.
“It is at a stage now where we need to speak to the referees and get some explanations,” Harrison said. “Then we can get to training and work on those things.”
Hamilton coach Scott Coleman was happy to get away with a “scrappy affair” in which they could have “played smarter”.
“For some reason we wanted to run down the middle of a muddy cricket pitch,” he said. “Once we shifted the ball to the edges we got some go forward.”
Wanderers opened with a penalty try after Kyle Ward held Dillon Rowney off the ball. Tim Marsh sliced through for a second try. Luke Simmons converted both and added a penalty for 15-0 after 15 minutes.
However the Hawks, on the back of a strong scrum and flood of possession, ground their way into the match. The Two Blues had Nick Brady and Ryan Jackson sent to the bin as the teams went to the break at 15-all.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Merewether No.8 Jarome Wilson and Southern Beaches prop Jackson McLean were sent off for fighting as the Greens succumbed to the home side 26-15.
University came from 8-0 down to overrun Singleton 45-8 at Bernie Callan Oval. Lake Macquarie ambushed Maitland 37-24 at Walters Park and Nelson Bay scored 14-unanswered points in the second half to beat The Waratahs 14-7 at Strong Oval.