The bunker made the right call in controversially disallowing a Joe Burgess try in South Sydney’s loss to Manly on Monday night, according to NRL referees boss Tony Archer.
Bunker official Ashley Klein turned down the onfield decision of a try by referee Henry Perenara, in the 59th minute of the Rabbitohs’ 20-12 round-20 loss at Allianz Stadium. The try could have tied the scored up at 18-18. Instead, Souths’ fightback from 18-0 down was stopped in its tracks.
On Tuesday evening, the NRL released a slow motion video on its official website which it said supported the decision.
According to the NRL, “the bunker officials did not include all relevant angles in the vision provided to the broadcasters and this oversight added to the confusion over the decision”.
As the vision of Burgess rolled, Archer said Klein’s decision was correct.
“As you can see from the vision, Joe Burgess in attempting to ground the ball, loses possession and fails to re-grip, re-hold or re-catch the ball which he is required to do to score a fair try – correct decision to overturn.
According to the NRL’s rules, “A player who has had possession or touches/touched the ball and knocks the ball forward must regain possession (catch, hold or grip) prior to the ball hitting the ground, another player, goal post or cross bar.
“For the ball to be deemed grounded, pressure must be applied by the player’s fingers, hand, wrist, forearm or torso so as to create a reasonable influence on the plane of the ball including the spin, rotation, momentum or bounce.”
Souths were livid with the decision which effectively ended their NRL season. They will miss the finals for the first time under coach Michael Maguire.
Stand-in skipper Sam Burgess said he was dumbfounded.
“It thought it was a dead-set try,” he said.
“I just don’t know how they can get it wrong – I really don’t.
“I tried to ask a question on the field what has it been disallowed, and there is no answer. I don’t think the referees knew why. As a player, it is pretty frustrating.
“I’m not blaming the referees. I thought Manly were good but some big moments in the game, we (as a game) need to get better.”
Coach Maguire was equally confused.
“They are defining moments in the game,” he said.
“We made it hard for ourselves in the first half but we achieved what we wanted to in the second half, getting our completions up, but those sorts of things in the game are defining moments.
“You say you thought it was a try and I did think the same.”