The NRL will have some serious explaining to do after a video refereeing clanger overshadowed the Sydney Roosters’ 38-12 semi-final win over Canterbury on Friday night.
With his side holding onto a slender 8-4 lead midway through the second half, Roosters prop Kane Evans was met by four Bulldogs defenders in what looked like a routine carry in the danger zone.
However despite appearing to have been stopped in momentum, lead referee Matt Cecchin allowed Evans to edge closer to the tryline, before eventually finishing over the line.
Standing less than five metres away in the in-goal, Cecchin stopped time and called on video referees Bernard Sutton and Ben Galea to review the grounding.
Crucially, Cecchin also ruled a try.
Initial replays showed Evans planting before the tryline, only for the ball to be lifted again and then re-planted on the tryline.
Sutton and Galea looked at a number of replays before stunningly pressing the green button.
On the Channel Nine broadcast, Sutton said: “There was insufficient evidence to overturn the decision.”
Commentator Ray Warren instantly replied, “Oh come on, Bernard.
“There is a promotion of the football after it touches the ground.”
Fellow commentator Phil Gould was also surprised by the decision, arguing that Cecchin should’ve called held long before the double movement.
“For all money he’s put it down in the field of play. I thought the tackle was held well before that,” Gould said.
The decision proved to be the major turning point in the match, with the Roosters then running in four tries in the final half an hour to book at preliminary final against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium next week.