SYDNEY, Sept 15 AAP - North Queensland co-captain Jonathan Thurston claims Queensland's State of Origin dominance was behind the refereeing howler which helped knock the Cowboys out of the NRL finals.
In a bizarre rant sure to attract some sort of sanction from the NRL, Thurston took conspiracy theories over the seven-tackle try awarded to the Sharks to a whole new level in Brisbane on Sunday.
The Test and Queensland pivot claimed NSW's lack of success was filtering through to retribution in NRL games, with the Cowboys on the receiving end of poor refereeing decision in two consecutive years in finals.
"You can see it, I'm not the only one that can see it, it's there for everyone to see," Thurston told reporters.
"While Queensland dominate at State of Origin level, NSW is crying out for something and they seem to be getting it.
"State of Origin is killing the game, no doubt.
"It's what the media wants, and fans in NSW want - South Sydney and Roosters grand final.
"That's what the game needs, they're crying out for it.
"If you're playing for a team outside of Sydney you're fighting up against it, no doubt about it.
"The boys feel it, we all feel it, it's tough."
Cowboys coach Neil Henry suggested conspiracy theories against non-Sydney teams during Saturday night's press conference, with NRL head of football Todd Greenberg indicating he was unlikely to be fined for the comments.