Knights v Dragons, Zac Lomax, off side, kick-off, refereeing, Adam O’Brien, Jaydn Su’A

Newcastle coach Adam O’Brien says the referees have made “bizarre” decisions in recent weeks and indicated that he had an ever-growing list of issues to take to the NRL.

The Knights mentor said he’d add to the list after the Knights’ 21-16 loss to the Dragons in Wollongong on Sunday night, in which the visitors’ hopes of victory were dashed by an off-side non-call in the 78th minute.

After Dragons centre Zac Lomax slotted a field goal to hand his side a 17-16 lead, Knights five-eighth Jake Clifford opted for a short kick-off.

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And although Dragons back-rower Jaydn Su’A caught the ball in an off-side position off a Lomax fumble, a penalty wasn’t awarded.

Instead, play kept rolling as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened, before the Dragons put the result beyond doubt through a Mathew Feagai try later in the set.

If a penalty had been awarded to the Knights, they could have snatched the lead at the death through a try or penalty goal, or levelled the scores with a field goal of their own.

O’Brien suggested he was stunned at the off-side non-call but said he was also confused about other refereeing decisions in the sixth-round match, which he plans on addressing in a meeting with officials this week.

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“I don’t want to be that coach,” O’Brien said in his post-match press conference.

“We had some guys have an off day. I reckon there were some other people that had an off day today.

“More scenarios than (the off-side non-call).

“Anyway, I’ll take that up during the week. I’m getting sick of taking it up (with the NRL).”

Rugby league Immortal and Knights consultant Andrew Johns was staggered by the off-side non-call.

“Are you serious?” Johns said on Nine’s coverage.

“What is the touch judge doing?”

O’Brien’s men conceded three ruck infringements to the hosts’ zero and two inside-the-10 calls to St George Illawarra’s nought.

Newcastle also failed to gain a single set restart.

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“I’m trying to get some clarity. I’ve scheduled a meeting next week with (the NRL),” O’Brien said.

“I have left it alone for the first five rounds but there are inconsistencies that keep happening in the game… I need some clarity on it and tonight I’ll add more. I’ll have to add to that list that I need to go through.

“There’s some bizarre stuff.”

The Knights are floundering in 11th on the ladder with just two wins from six games.

And a four-match losing streak is likely to become a six-game skid, as clashes with title contenders Parramatta and Melbourne lie ahead.

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