North Queensland boss Peter Jourdain says his NRL club are determined to move on after the NRL’s move to lock in peace talks for this weekend.
Fans might be disillusioned but North Queensland boss Peter Jourdain claims his NRL club is determined to move on from the latest refereeing howler.
Jourdain admitted some supporters had become so disgruntled that they were at risk of not renewing memberships or turning away from the game after the Cowboys were the victim of an official’s telling blunder on Friday night for the third time in as many seasons.
But Jourdain dismissed any notion of a Sydney bias and said he had been encouraged by the NRL’s prompt response to a request to meet in Townsville this weekend for peace talks.
NRL head of football Todd Greenberg will head the delegation that is expected to speak with the Cowboys’ hierarchy ahead of Saturday night’s home clash with Parramatta.
“We have moved on. We don’t believe there is a vendetta or anything,” Jourdain told AAP.
“We have never held the belief that there is a Sydney-centric NRL or that there is any bias.
“We just want them to sit down with our football department, talk it all through and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Jourdain said he did not necessarily want an apology from the NRL after what they believed were two contentious calls against them in Friday night’s 26-21 loss to Manly in Gosford.
The Cowboys were fuming over “a highly questionable six-again call” made on the final tackle inside the Cowboys’ 20m in the dying stages of the match.
That was followed by the talking point of the game – Kieran Foran being awarded a telling try by the video referees when it appeared North Queensland’s Ray Thompson had been obstructed in defence.
Jourdain said there had been talk of fans threatening not to renew memberships in the fallout over the Manly match.
“It would be fair to say a lot of our supporters up here have become disillusioned,” Jourdain said.
“That’s why I think it is important that we have the meeting.
“For the sake of our fans, members and sponsors, our club needs to be seen as being on an equal footing with the other clubs.”
Jourdain also backed the NRL investigating NHL ice hockey’s use of a referees “bunker” that he believed would avoid future howlers.
The NHL uses a centralised video referee body in Toronto that monitors live games and can immediately overrule on-site officials if they see a blunder.
It was knocked back initially by the NRL in 2005 but is such a success in ice hockey that the NFL is about to adopt it.