It took 111 minutes for the NRL’s first triumph to arrive, when NZ Warriors star Jazz Tevaga was sent off the pitch half an hour after his side clash with North Queensland.
With the Kiwis down 10-6, Tevaga lined up the Cowboys’ Heilum Luki and delivered a crisp late kick. It saw him file a report and be sentenced – and his cop team to two tries while in the sheds.
The Warriors bravely fought back in the second half, before a late field goal from Valentine Holmes saw the Cowboys sneak home 29-28.
After the game, Warriors head coach Nathan Brown, who turned out to be less than impressed at the time, put the result entirely on the binning of sins.
“Help when you’re 13 out there,” Brown said of his team’s response.
“The game was decided by sin binning and it was a good, just sin-binning. But that’s where the game was lost.
“We did not manage the sorting out of sins. Last week we had two, and we handled it very well, our defense. Today we missed 12 and paid the price. “
Brown didn’t put the blame squarely on Tevaga, adding, “Until the sin-binning was a pretty hard half-foot, and then when the sin-binning happened, we had people who haven’t handled it so well.
“We’ve had people who haven’t quite understood some of the things that you need at this level.”
Warren Smith said in a commentary for the Fox League: “You haven’t been able to do this for a long time. Forget the repression of the past few weeks. It has been a penalty (forever) – a real no-brainer!
“Jazz Tevanga goes in the trash for 10 minutes. It was crazy stuff.
Steve ‘Blocker’ Roach replied, “He’s not even in the defensive line, 10 yards. He is further back. This is how it was late. Look where it came from!
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Smith added, “It was a crazy late tackle from Jazz Tevaga. It is not necessary to make this tackle. “
“You are 100% right,” Roach replied.
But the Fox League panel was divided over whether the sin bin was the result of the crackdown on NRL referees.
Greg Alexander said: “It was late. Angus Crichton was suspended – he was not sent to the trash but was suspended – he took two weeks for a shot not too different from that. There wasn’t a lot of force in it, didn’t hurt the player with the ball but it was late.
Gordon Tallis said: “Come on, you have to put it in your head (to be convicted)… Before this crackdown, it’s a penalty. Isn’t that just a penalty?
Alexander said, “I think so… There was nothing in it but he shouldn’t have. It’s easy not to do that.
Corey Parker said it was a bad choice as it was, “A real crux (of the game). Ten minutes before half-time. The Cowboys also managed to score two tries during this span. This put his team under enormous pressure.