Tigers coach Brett Kimmorley was telling his players to have a better understanding of the rules after a costly play-off foul robbed them of a certain victory over the Dragons.
Trailing 22-16 with eight minutes to play, the Dragons punted 10 yards short and Tiger winger Junior Pauga fumbled the football and converted the penalty.
The Tigers should have led by eight points with seven minutes remaining, but a late converted try and a free kick saw the Dragons pull away from the jaws of defeat.
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While he didn’t want to be too critical of Paughan, who was only in his fourth NRL game, Kimmorley told his players they had to be smart for ice games in the NRL.
“We were disappointingly poor in the second half,” Kimmorley said.
“We either beat ourselves or gave them a chance to win the game.
“We had a chance to grab a penalty goal and with seven minutes to go we could have been eight, so it’s a big learning curve.
It’s a great learning curve on how to deal with pressure and adversity and, as I told the boys, we learned the rules.
“It is very important to understand what decisions come with what results.
“It’s very important to understand how the game works and if you want to play this game for a long time, you have to be a student of the game and know everything and how it helps you and sometimes how it hurts you.”
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Kimmorley pledged to support Paughan after the hard-hitting mistake, but did not place the blame on a single game or player.
“He’s fine, it’s obviously a tough lesson to learn,” Kimmorley said.
We look forward to supporting him.
A lot of other things happened today that made the Dragons play football and have a better field position.
“I think we made 16 mistakes and a lot of them were major skill mistakes.
“Swimming skills is something I really like. I told the guys: You have to develop swimming skills and know the rules and hopefully you can do a job.
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Kimmorley didn’t know the rules, so he wasn’t sure if Pauga was playing on the ball.
“I’m not sure, you might ask him,” Kimmorley said.
But the 10 meter line is a rule that must be crossed.
But we didn’t have the ball in the second half and we had a chance there and Adam (Duehi) came up with a 20-metre repeat and put them in the corner and that put us under pressure.
“They went short and failed and this is an opportunity for us to lead by eight, which makes us comfortable and they chase the big scoreboard pressure.”