FOR the second straight year, North Queensland's NRL season ended on the back of a shocking refereeing blunder as Cronulla booked a semi-final berth with an enthralling 20-18 win at Allianz Stadium.
With a farcical finish in which Kane Linnett was denied a try, when play continued with the clock stopped on 41 seconds remaining for an entire set, the Cowboys bowed out in heartbreaking fashion as the Sharks booked another sudden-death clash against the loser of Saturday night's Manly-Sydney Roosters clash.
In the same area of the ground as where the Cowboys were dudded in last year's finals when a Kieran Foran knock-on passed muster with the video referee, Beau Ryan scored a try on the seventh tackle.
Sosaia Feki sewed up the win with a try seven minutes from fulltime to end a contest which was never in the bag, but it was a lapse in concentration by referee Matt Cecchin 65 minutes earlier which will remain the main talking point.
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