NRL: Paul Gallen Makes A Controversial Early Return, NRL Boss Will Apologise To Cowboys In North Queensland

Paul Gallen disputes a try decision with referee Henry Perenara during the round 7 NRL match between the Sharks and the Roosters

Paul Gallen made an early return from an ankle injury to play against the Sydney Roosters at Remondis Stadium last night but the star’s presence still could not produce a win for the wooden spoon team.

Injured in the Sharks’ first game of the season, the NSW Origin captain has been benched for 5 weeks while his team failed win more than one game.

Gallen’s all-clear to play was the only good news for Cronulla last night as the Shark’s went down 24-18 against the Roosters.

The loss however wasn’t without controversy.

After the Roosters’ Shaun Kenny-Dowall made a crucial try in the first half, Gallen accused referees Alan Shortall and Henry Perenara of laughing at his side.

One of the referees could be heard saying over the match officials audio system that they were not laughing and that the skipper should “be very careful” about what he says.

Despite the loss Gallen’s return was good news for the Blues side and coach Laurie Daly who has had vice captain Robbie Farah and Sharks player Luke Lewis also sidelined with injuries.

Meanwhile, NRL boss Dave Smith will personally travel to North Queensland in the coming weeks to apologise for the latest referring blunder against the Cowboys that saw a try by Manly’s Kieran Foran allowed despite an obvious obstruction.

It is the third critical error in referring against the Cowboys in as many seasons, a similar scenario previously costing the club their 2012 and 2013 finals campaigns.

After Foran’s try in the 26-21 ­defeat on Friday, Cowboys coach Paul Green vowed to “walk nude through Pitt Street” if the NRL didn’t acknowledge the try as an obstruction.

Cowboys chief executive Peter Jourdain has said the NRL owes the club and the North Queensland fans an apology.

“The NRL is embarrassed about it. They do genuinely seem to want to do something about it, so I want to get them up and see if we can work through it with them.

“Let’s get it out of the way as quickly as we can. We owe it to our fans and members in north Queensland who are really strong rugby league supporters. They are starting to get disillusioned,” he said.

The SMH and news.com.au has more.

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