The Cowboys were leading by 14 points with 15 minutes remaining but Payten said he was left scratching his head when Jason Taumalolo was denied a try due to an obstruction in the lead-up.
The Bunker determined Jeremiah Nanai initiated contact on Lachlan Fitzgibbon, resulting in an obstruction.
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At the time of the Bunker’s decision, Payten could be seen taking out his frustrations on a keyboard in the coach’s box.“I’m disappointed again that it was taken off us,” he said after the match.
“It’s consistently ruled too inconsistent.
“The language the Bunker used was also confusing to say that Jeremiah initiated contact when Fitzgibbon was jammed outside-in, and made good contact with his inside shoulder and deviated three our four metres off the line. That’s why I’m so confused.
“It’s different from game to game and that’s what I don’t like.
“The Bunker is there to make the right decisions and we’re just not getting enough of them.”
Development, North Queensland extended its winning streak to four games with the thumping win.
The Cowboys were forced into a tightly contested opening half, in which they trailed by four points at the main break.
A boilover appeared likely early before a brutal second-half onslaught from the home side blew the Knights off the field.
NRL Highlights: Cowboys v Knights – Round 9
Four unanswered tries courtesy of Murray Taulagi, Valentine Holmes, Nanai and Heilum Luki blew the match wide open, turning what was a close game into crushing defeat.
Knights coach Adam O’Brien said it was disappointing his side, which went scoreless in the second half and suffered a third-straight defeat by 20 points or more, continued to make crucial errors at the wrong moments.
“We’ve got to get smarter,” O’Brien said after the match.
“Last week we’re kicking out on the kick-off and this week we’re not finding touch-off penalties.
“There’s no doubt some experience coming back next week will help, but we still need to hold individuals accountable.
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“You can’t afford ill-disciplined. We had three or four play-on errors, we had four last-play tries … you can’t do that, regardless of whether you’ve played 10 or 50 games at this club, you keep your feet moving on the last play.
“Last plays, we train the hell out of it every week, it’s an important part of the game and an important part of our opposition and the way they play.
“They get a lot of results on last plays, whether it was the run option or the kick, and we talked about it, but we stopped. It’s disappointing.”