Cowboys star Chad Townsend was mic’d up in his side’s huge comeback victory against the Sea Eagles, revealing what happened in the bizarre moment referee Gerard Sutton reversed a captain’s challenge.
The North Queensland side came away 28-26 winners courtesy of a 75th minute Valentine Holmes winner and the emotion of the moment the siren sounded was captured.
Earlier, in one crucial moment, Sutton signalled to the Bunker for a Cowboys captain’s challenge — which Townsend said was never called.
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The bizarre moment came after the Cowboys were said to have challenged the ruling of a knock on with two minutes remaining in the first half.
“Who called that sir, the captain calls it, I didn’t call it, I didn’t speak to you,” Townsend said.
“It has to come from the captain sir, that is the call, that is the rule, it comes from the captain that is the rule.
“I had three guys calling it there mate and I thought you were one of them,” Sutton said.
“Mate a thought is not how it works, you come to me, you ask me or Jason (Taumalolo).
“Sorry Bucky (Butler), Chad has not called it, other blokes have called it,” Sutton said to the Bunker referee, heard on Fox League’s coverage.
In their huge win, the Cowboys got off to a slow start, with both Christian Tuipulotu and Reuben Garrick scoring early Manly tries.
But that didn’t dampen Townsend’s spirit, who sensed the momentum would change when his side got their hands on the ball consistently.
“What we do now is narrow our focus, two minutes, defend one and complete one,” Townsend said as his teammates replied “yep” in unison.
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“Boys they have had all the ball, I am telling you stick with it we will get our fair share of the ball.”
The Cowboys found themselves trailing 26-12 with only eight minutes remaining and tries to Reece Robson and Connely Lemuelu brought the score back to within two points.
But in a moment young gun Jeremiah Nanai would like to forget, the ball went straight through his hands and hit the ground.
“Get up mate let’s go, next job all right let’s go, we have got you, we have got you, jog it in let’s go,” Townsend said to Nanai after the mistake.
Maroons gun Valentine Holmes went on the score a last gasp four-pointer to hand the Cowboys a two-point lead, but for Townsend his job wasn’t over.
In the last minute the Sea Eagles were awarded a penalty, kicking the ball into touch for one last play.
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Townsend sensed what was happening before any of his teammates and was captured saying “two point field goal, two point field goal”.
The marquee recruit was then the first man in line to attempt to charge down Cherry-Evans field goal attempt, before screaming in relief once the final siren sounded.
“Oh my god, I love this game, oh my god man,” Townsend said.