Warriors sledge Cam Smith before coach Stephen Kearney fumes at officiating
THE New Zealand Warriors’ mid-game sledge of Cameron Smith did nothing to change the result but provided ammunition for a fed-up coach.
THE Warriors have used social media to take aim at Cameron Smith and NRL officials after a controversial decision in Sunday afternoon’s 12-6 loss to the Melbourne Storm.
On their verified Twitter account, the Warriors poked fun at the Storm skipper and officials after Smith seemingly got away with a high tackle on winger Ken Maumalo.
Posting online during the game, the Warriors tweeted: “High tackle”, swiftly followed by a second tweet saying: “Oh wait, it’s Cam Smith”.
The tweets are the latest in a number of digs at former Queensland hooker Cameron Smith, who has long been accused of attempting to influence referees and the speed of the ruck during games.
The Warriors received backlash following their tweets, with some labelling the club’s actions as “unprofessional”.
A Warriors spokesperson said the club didn’t have any comment regarding the post, but did say on Twitter it’s just “good chat”.
Following the 12-6 loss, Warriors coach Stephen Kearney said he believes there is a serious issue with officiating in the NRL — and a solution needs to be urgently found.
While insisting he was not blaming the referees for the loss — repeatedly stressing that Melbourne were the better team, and his side wasn’t good enough — Kearney was left stunned by some strange decisions on Sunday.
Several big calls went against the home side, with a few quite inexplicable and clearly wrong.
“I think there is a problem (with the refereeing),” said Kearney. “Unfortunately they have been poorly led. They get a directive (from the NRL) at the start of the year to blow the pea out of the whistle and 13 rounds in that changes again.”
“It’s just about that consistency and I feel for them at the moment. There is enough smart people in our game to get it sorted, and we need to make sure we do something about it. It’s a bit of a blight on our game at the minute.”
The most obvious example occurred midway through the second half on Sunday, when Warriors winger Ken Maumalo smashed through three tackles in a 40m burst towards halfway, before being stopped by Smith. Smith’s tackle looked high, but as Maumalo went to play the ball the referees found an invisible knock on.
“Ken’s one was a pretty obvious one,” said Kearney. “They are moments for them, and as (Canberra coach) Ricky (Stuart) alluded to the other day, they are game changers. They turn the momentum of the game.”