The NRL’s $2 million bunker is again under fire for a controversial no-try ruling against Brad Takairangi in Parramatta’s 22-10 win over Manly.
The Eels were left scratching their heads and social media went into meltdown on Thursday night after Takairangi was ruled to be offside after collecting a Corey Norman grubber and planting it on the line in the 47th minute at Brookvale Oval.
While the decision ultimately had no bearing on the result, with the Eels piling on three late tries, the game was in the balance at 8-8 at the time and could have turned the match.
The video referees found insufficient evidence to overturn the on-field ruling of no try, even though replays appeared to show Takairangi to be behind the kicker, with Eels coach Brad Arthur voicing his displeasure.
“I thought he was onside,” Arthur said.
Parramatta skipper Corey Norman said it was a clear try, adding to mounting criticism of the bunker.
“I sort of questioned one of the refs about it. ‘I’m sure one of his feet were behind the line’ and he sort of said to me ‘both feet have to be behind the line’,” Norman told Sky Sports Radio on Friday.
“But watching the replay, I think you can clearly see that both feet were behind Norman.
“It wasn’t as if it was touch and go. I think you could clearly see that he’s onside. So I don’t know how they couldn’t pick it up.”
Last month, the Sydney Roosters were left seething when a dubious offside decision cost them dearly in their round-four defeat to the Sea Eagles.
In the dying minutes, Mitchell Aubusson was ruled offside in the lead-up to Latrell Mitchell crossing the line.
While the Roosters could not hide their displeasure at the ruling, NRL referees boss Tony Archer later backed his men because he said the bunker did not have sufficient evidence to overrule the on-field decision.
The bunker, the NRL’s centralised video refereeing unit which is based on models used in American sports, was introduced this year with much fanfare.
Fans were at first promised a zero per cent error rate by now NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg however it has come under heavy criticism in recent weeks.