NRL admits Raiders dudded in eight-point try
The NRL has admitted a quirk in bunker rules lead to an eight-point try in Sunday afternoon's clash between Canberra and Manly that should not have been awarded.
Head of football, Graham Annesley, conceded Sea Eagles backrower Jack Gosiewski took an intercept, which lead to the try, from an offside position.
At the time, the Raiders were leading 10-4 on the scoreboard with 29 minutes left on the clock but lost the match 18-14.
"In my view, in my assessment did they get this wrong? Yes, I think they did. It's reasonably marginal but if it's wrong. I'm prepared to concede he is offside but certainly not to the view it has been portrayed," he said.
Annesley said it was his view that at the time Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson bends to pick up the ball that Gosiewski was offside.
The on-field referee, Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski, referred the try to the bunker to determine whether or not Canberra's Joey Leilua made illegal contact, on the tryscorer, Reuben Garrick, but didn't ask for a ruling on Gosiewski.
Annesley explained that the video bunker has never been used to examine whether a side or player is offside while defending their goal line or 10 metres. The current protocol is unlikely to change as Annesley believes it will only lead to more bunker referrals.
"The only time we use the bunker to determine onside is generally from a kick in general play to determine if a player is in front of a kicker or not," he said.
"The management of the 10 metres has always been left in the hands of the officials. Because there are times referees will play advantage, there are times where players will be marginally in front of referees and if we try to introduce the bunker into that element, it's got trouble written all over it. Plus we'd be seeing many, many more decisions going to the bunker."
IS THE SEND OFF DEAD?
Parramatta's Nathan Brown (shoulder charge) and South Sydney's James Roberts (dangerous contact) were both sent to the sin bin in their respective matches. Annesley backed the on-field decisions made but said he would've been 'comfortable' had both players had been sent off.
Speaking specifically about Roberts' second effort on Corey Oates head while he was laying on the ground, Annesley said: "Yeah [I would have been comfortable if he was sent off]. While I understand why they took the action that they took … the degree of force was unnecessary but it was a different type of incident to [Brown] but I'll back the referees for taking action to protect player safety."
There were 45 penalties blown in just two games of football on Sunday afternoon. Melbourne and the Gold Coast conceded 19 and 26 penalties were given away in the Raiders and Sea Eagles clash.
Annesley revealed he has asked referees boss Bernard Sutton to review the latter match to determine whether or not the on-field officials were over zealous in some of their calls. There is also a view that sending a Sea Eagles player to the sin bin for repeated infringements while defending their goal line in the first half would have allowed the referees more control over the lack of discipline during the match.
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