Fifita no-try call was wrong: refs boss

NRL referees boss Tony Archer has apologised to Cronulla after Andrew Fifita was incorrectly robbed of a try which nearly cost them their win over Canberra on Saturday.

The video referee overturned a decision by on-field official Ashley Klein to award a four-pointer to Fifita in the Sharks’ 21-20 win over the Raiders.

The decision was widely panned by fans, commentators and Sharks coach Shane Flanagan after replays showed Fifita clearly grounded the ball.

At the time the Raiders led 20-18 and the decision could have changed the match.

The Sharks were however given a penalty in front of the posts and after evening up the scores, won it thanks to a Valentine Holmes field goal in extra time.

Archer said video referees Shayne Hayne and Daniel Irvine should have confirmed the live decision of a try.

“At the end of the game the referee on-field sent up a decision to be reviewed with a live decision of try,” Archer said.

“The video referee’s reviewed it. There’s one angle that supports them overturning it but the other two angles certainly support the decision of try.

“It was the incorrect decision, it should have been confirmed as a try.”

Archer said even if Fifita had failed to ground the ball, he should have been awarded a penalty try after he was impeded by Sia Soliola.

The Sharks received a penalty after Raiders forward Soliola held back Fifita as he lunged for the ball.

Archer said the infringement would have satisfied the rules which govern penalty tries and Fifita would have certainly scored had it not been for Soliola’s interference.

“There was a penalty given because there’s contact by a Canberra Raider before Fifita gets to the ball,” Archer said.

“In the circumstances when that occurs in the game, they should overturn it and it should have been a penalty try.

“But rest assured the first decision should have been confirmation of the live decision.”

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