NRL football manager Graham Annesley praised Bunker officials for the decision to deny Cronulla a try in yesterday’s game against Brisbane.
Field referee Ben Cummins gave Jesse Ramien a try despite what most thought was a clear forward pass, only for the Bunker to step in and overturn the decision.
The Bunker is not allowed to comment on forward passes, but in this case, officials felt that Sione Katoa had touched as he unloaded the ball at Ramien before the try.
“There has been quite a bit of talk about the Bunker’s involvement in this, and the Bunker supposedly being involved in a forward pass decision, which they cannot comment on,” Annesley said.
“I can understand how this conclusion was drawn.
“Clearly something was wrong with that (game), to the casual observer it didn’t look right.”
Annesley explained that Katoa lost control of the ball when he was tackled and that under Law 10 if he didn’t regain control a knock-on was the only possible decision.
“He carries the ball in his right arm, and when defenders reach him, his hand and arm move completely away from the ball,” he said.
“He doesn’t control the ball anymore, he actually lost the ball.
“He could cancel a shot by regaining control of the ball, but what he does, his arm passes and kicks the ball and hits it at Jesse Ramien.
“He never got the ball back and decided to pass it. He lost control and then passed it to Jesse Ramien.”
There was widespread backlash to the appeal at the time, not because the incorrect decision was made, but because most thought the skirmish appeal was a practical excuse to cover up an error from the referee who missed a blatant forward pass.
Premiership-winning half-back Cooper Cronk called him an “absolute circus” on Fox League and “the best cover-up I’ve seen”.
But Annesley praised those responsible for making exactly the right decision.
“It’s not a forward pass, he never regained control of the ball, that’s why the Bunker had every right to get involved and make the decision to hit,” he said. -he declares.
“There was all kinds of talk about the Bunker’s decision on forward passes, it wasn’t a pass, it was a lost possession.
“I commend the Bunker for getting involved in this, because at the rate that it happened it looked a lot different. When you slow down you can clearly see him losing possession.”
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