NRL referees boss Tony Archer says the bunker made the right call in awarding a controversial try to Will Hopoate, after an accidental knock-on from Tony Williams, in Canterbury’s win over St George Illawarra.
Williams was ruled by the bunker to have accidentally knocked the ball forward in the lead-up to the try in the 34-16 win at ANZ Stadium on Monday, a manoeuvre that revived memories of a play made famous by Dally Messenger over 100 years ago.
The play was quickly coined the “Hand of Dog” try and on Tuesday in his weekly review, Archer said his match review officials were correct in ruling play on after the Williams effort.
Archer said because Williams didn’t deliberately propel the ball forward in the lead up to Hopoate’s try, the bunker made the right decision.
“It was a really unusual incident, where Tony Williams recovered the knock on and then passed the ball on to Hopoate who then claims a try,” Archer said.
“It was reviewed by the bunker, they need to determine it was a deliberate act of throwing the ball forward or knocking the ball forward to constitute a penalty.
“So the alternatives they had were either to determine that or give a try and ultimately they gave a try and I understand why they did when you apply the rule.”
“For a player to be penalised for throwing a ball forward or deliberately knocking a ball on he has to have some level of intent.”
Archer also said his officials made the right decision in denying a try to North Queensland’s Matt Scott in the loss to Cronulla later that Monday night.
However Archer said a crucial knock-on call against Sharks fullback Ben Barba in the second half of the Shark Park fixture was wrong.
Officials also made the right ruling, according to Archer, in denying a try to Manly utility Lewis Brown in Penrith’s win on Sunday, because defending players are permitted the strip the ball in a tackle with two or more defenders if they are in the process of saving a try.