Titans coach John Cartwright and captain Scott Prince were both left seething at the end of their match, after the try that won it for the Dragons, was helped along by William Zillman being impeded by the referee.
The controversial moment occurred when Dragons five-eighth Jamie Soward put a kick through on the last tackle, and as Zillman came through to catch the ball, he appeared to have been impeded by referee Phil Haines, allowing Dragons fullback Darius Boyd to run through and score the try.
The decision was sent by central referee Jared Maxwell to video ref Steven Clark, but Clark awarded the try.
“I’m not 100 per cent clear on the rule, so I probably need to clear that,” Cartwright said.
“But you would hope there is a rule of common sense in the book somewhere.
“It didn’t cost us the game, but it was critical.”
Prince agreed with his coach, and had this to say.
“I just remember one ref said to the other ref: `just check that, I think I got in the way’.”
Bennett believed that it was a try the entire time.
“At the time, I was saying they can’t take it off Darius because we did nothing wrong,” Bennett said.
“They ran into the ref. The ref had taken his position. He didn’t obstruct them, so I’ve got to assume that’s why we got the try.”
Dragons centre Matt Cooper, played in his 200th NRL game, and Bennett was full of praise for the experienced centre, who received a standing ovation from his team-mates.
“I was pleased for Matt, it’s a wonderful milestone,” said Bennett, who convinced the Shellharbour junior not to go overseas in 2009 when he arrived at the club.
Dally M Points
3 Jamie Soward
2 Darius Boyd
1 Sam Tagataese
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (25)
Tries: Ben Creagh, Nathan Fien, Darius Boyd (2)
Conversions: Jamie Soward (4/4)
Field Goals: Jamie Soward (1/2)
GOLD COAST TITANS (16)
Tries: Steve Michaels, Ashley Harrison, Sam Tagataese
Conversions: Scott Prince (2/3)