New Queensland star Johnathan Thurston has admitted feeling unhappy about his outburst directed at referee Jason Robinson during the Cowboys’ 24-20 defeat to Manly.
Thurston unleashed a foul-mouthed tirade at Robinson during the final moments of the match on Saturday night.
Thurston has since escaped a detrimental conduct charge after appearing in front of the NRL judiciary.
The decision has provoked widespread anger throughout the league but Thurston, who stopped short of issuing an apology, said referees deserve respect.
He said: “I’m not happy with what I saw when I looked back at the tape of me addressing the referee.
It was an emotional situation though, that got a little out of hand and if I had my chance again of course I would have handled things differently.
I certainly don’t want people to think that I am encouraging anyone to blow up at the referee. The refs deserve respect in any game and I respect the job they are trying to do.
I have no hard feelings towards Jason or any of the officials and be really upset if people took this as an excuse to be aggressive towards the referee in the future”