Tensions are at breaking point amongst North Queensland rugby league fans, after a refereeing mistake in the Cowboys match against Cronulla on Saturday night.

With claims of conspiracy theories and Queensland’s State of Origin dominance feelings are running high.

Victoria Harrison reports.


The blunder came when Cronulla’s Beau Ryan scored a try on the seventh tackle.

Fans are unimpressed.

Vox: “I think it is fundamentally unfair.”

Vox: “It was definitely a rip off.”

A campaign to get the Cowboys back into the NRL finals has swept the internet.

The petition was started by passionate Cowboys supporter Jazza Vock from the Sunshine Coast.

She’s shocked by the support she’s received.

Jazza Vock, Petition organiser: “Obviously in my wildest dreams I thought a couple of thousand but definitely not nearly 30,000 which it has now reached.

This is not the first time the Cowboys have been affected by a refereeing blunder. In their defeat against Manly last year they were disadvantaged when the referees did not pick up on a knock on in the semi finals.

Rugby League legend Wally Lewis says the Cowboys should be commended on how they’ve dealt with the situation.

Wally Lewis, Rugby League great: “I thought their CEO has been outstanding. The Cowboys have been ripped off and he knows that but you just have to go with the flow.”

NRL officials are in the process of reviewing the decision and considering penalties for the referees involved.

Sports Journalist, Mike Coleman, says there’s a lot of pressure on referees and this needs to be taken account in the review.

Mike Coleman, Sports journalist: “Referees make wrong decisions all the time, they’re only human. But sometimes they affect the outcome of the game.”

While the fallout continues, the Cowboys have returned to Townsville for a well earned rest.

Victoria Harrison, QUT News.