NRL fans and pundits have slammed Wests Tigers star Joey Leilua over a seemingly sour-grapes Instagram post calling into question a game-changing moment in their loss to the Gold Coast Titans.
The Titans engineered an exciting upset with three minutes to play when Ash Taylor’s short kick off was corralled by Brian Kelly, who eventually set up Phillip Sami for the match-winning try.
The 28-23 defeat meant the Tigers dropped out of the top eight, leaving coach Michael Maguire questioning his players’ desire to win.
Leilua though, seemed more interested in pinning the blame on the referee.
The ex-Canberra Raider took to Instagram to share a screenshot of the moment Kelly took possession of the ball, suggesting the short kick-off hadn’t travelled the required 10 metres.
Unfortunately for Leilua, there weren’t many out there who agreed with him.
Most commentators pointed out that Kelly’s foot is quite clearly on the 10 metre line - rendering Leilua’s argument null and void.
Leilua’s post may not be what coach Maguire was hoping to see from his players following the loss, considering his harsh post game criticism of his side.
“If you can’t be hungry to want to win a game of football well, you have to have a good look in the mirror,” he said.
“Those are the sort of things that we will be honest about. It’s disappointing a few things didn’t go our way (but) … I am sick and tired of the ups and downs of our performances, we need to change that.
He’s deadset holding the ball right on the 10m line. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.
— Mark Gottlieb (@MarkGottlieb) June 7, 2020
I said the same thing.... how embarrassing from Joey especially when Madge was talking about taking accountability
— Josh Coleman (@Josh99Coleman) June 8, 2020
“That’s what this club has been (inconsistent). I didn’t want to say that but it’s the truth.
“People talk about whether or not we win the big games or challenge the big teams or play less against the lower teams – well, that’s character.
“We need to fix that. We need to fix it fast. I have seen a little bit of that over my period and we all need to change that.”