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Play to the whistle: Warriors learn ref lesson after NRL escape

Play to the whistle. It's a mantra that gets a fair hearing in junior footy across most codes but not often in the NRL.

The Warriors are reminding themselves to do exactly that after escaping with what they consider a fortunate two points from their howler-dominated win over Newcastle.

NRL referee bosses conceded there were a number of errant rulings in Saturday's clash before the Warriors dug deep to beat the depleted hosts 24-20, courtesy of a late try.

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The Warriors winger says he knows he grounded the ball in the close win over the Knights, despite what the officials think. Source: 1 NEWS

Veteran forward Adam Blair refused to play the hard-done-by card, instead calling on teammates to be more professional when play-on is the call.

He was referring primarily to both tries scored by Sione Mata'utia which the NRL has admitted shouldn't have stood.

The first came when Blair himself jolted the ball from Mason Lino's grasp in a tackle which was deemed to be a strip, a ruling that stunned most of the flat- footed visitors.

Mata'utia put Newcastle ahead late when the referees ruled play-on despite Warriors centre Peta Hiku staggering out of a tackle earlier in the set with an apparent head injury.

Head of Football Graham Annesley described it as "serious error" that play wasn't halted to protect the player's safety.

Blair was livid that some in the Warriors ignored the ensuing play.

"I think we were all quite surprised but ... the lesson for us with those things is just staying in the moment until something actually stops the game," he told reporters.

"There's a couple of moments there - the Mason one and the Pita Hiku one - that we most probably clocked off.

"It was lucky that we came away with the win and did enough to get the two points."

Blair was pleased his team was able to create the late match-winner for Sam Lisone, having been on the receiving end of so many tight losses this season.

It was a confidence booster ahead of Saturday's critical match away to Brisbane, who share the same 6-9 record, in joint 11th place.

Adam Blair against the Titans
Adam Blair against the Titans Source: Photosport


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