Sharks veteran does not hold back as his side slumps to another loss.
When a Cronulla Sharks player labels the referees as poor as his own side, it carries extra weight when it is 2014.
To say the Sharks have had a horror year would be an understatement with off-field issues compounding the poor play and injuries on it, and after losing to the North Queensland Cowboys at home this week, Wade Graham has some choice words for the men in charge of the game.
North Queensland won their first game on the road this NRL season as they thumped the Sharks by 20 points.
However, after 19 penalties were blown in the game, 11 to the Cowboys, Graham made headlines after the game for his attack on the referees.
“I hate to say it. Like, there’s no shying away from the fact that we’re struggling as a team — we’ve had not the best season — but, mate, the men in the middle are on par with us,” he said. “The ruck was all over the shop. It was very frustrating.
“We can’t use that as an excuse. We weren’t good enough. We didn’t win, but I tell you what, we’re struggling and so are they (the referees).”
Graham also took specific exception to Cowboys skipper Johnathan Thurston scoring his side’s second try of the game after he gained the ball in an apparent two-man tackle.
“We see that decision [in this game] and we’ll probably see it maybe in another game over the weekend when the same thing will come up and it will be a different decision come up,” he said.
“There’s no use harping on it because what’s happened has happened. But we review ourselves every week and for it to be round 20 and (the referees are) still struggling … it happens in every game. Every game, you hear a captain talking about it.
“It’s just frustrating and the game deserves better than talking about this.
“We should be talking about JT playing well, or something else about the game.”
However, Graham did have some words of warning for team playing the Cowboys from now until the end of the season, ‘watch out North Queensland is coming’
“Any team with JT in it can make a run,” Graham said. “He’s a world-class player and he steers them around well.
“They’ve still got Matty Scott to come back — he’s a big leader for them — and Jimmy (Tamou) is going well too so they can definitely make a run.”