NRL 2019: New Zealand Warriors lose controversial thriller against Parramatta Eels

  • 27/07/2019

The New Zealand Warriors have suffered a crucial blow in their chase for an NRL playoff spot. 

And it wasn't without controversy. The Warriors were on the receiving end of a 9-2 penalty count, while crucial decisions went against them in the second forty minutes.

The most contentious came with just four minutes remaining. Trailing by two points, skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck made a midfield break, before offloading one-handed to Gerard Beale who appeared to score a legitimate try.

But the match officials ruled the seemingly legal pass forward and the Warriors were denied victory. 

That call compounded a questionable half of officiating, with the Warriors on the receiving end of numerous calls that changed the momentum of the game.

With the Warriors leading 18-12 early in the second half, the impressive Chanel Harris-Tavita was ruled to have stripped the ball in a two-man tackle despite timing his action perfectly.

The Eels scored in the following set. 

But it was the one-sided penalty count that raised eyebrows - the Warriors earning just two, 75  minutes apart. 

In the end, it was Parramatta's game-breakers who produced the big plays to set up a thrilling 24-22 win at Bankwest Stadium.

Fullback Clint Gutherson, playmaker Mitchell Moses and winger Mika Sivo were all prominent as Parramatta solidified a place in the top eight while harming the Warriors finals aspirations by ending their three-match winning streak.

Moses broke an 18-18 tie with a 54th-minute penalty awarded for a grapple tackle from Lachlan Burr, who was placed on report.

The Eels halfback then gathered a hard pass that bounced off his chest into his grasp and made a long break down the right before producing a perfect stab kick which bounced perfectly for Gutherson.

The Warriors got within two when winger Ken Maumalo crossed for his second try on the hour to draw level with joint try-scoring leader Sivo on 14.

The contest got off to a sensational start with five tries and 30 points in the first 24 minutes.

Maumolo started the highlights reel with a fourth-minute opener before Sivo's burst and brutal fends of Beale and Blake Ayshford set up a try for Brad Taikarangi.

Young winger Ethan Parry, who ran onto a perfect Gutherson pass to register his second four-pointer in as many games, put the Eels in front though veteran hooker Issac Luke responded with a 40-20 kick and barge over from dummy half.

Beale continued the Warriors first-half spurt via a legal Tuivasa-Sheck transfer to give the visitors an 18-12 lead at the break.

The in-form Sivo got the Eels back on track in the 46th minute when he pounced on a loose Blake Green clearance.

Luke joined Burr on report late in the second half for a lifting tackle on five-eight Dylan Brown.

AAP / Newshub.