Rochow left bemused by late penalty
Author Alicia Newton Timestamp Sat 24 Mar 2018, 05:14 PM
Wests Tigers back-rower Robbie Rochow, the man at the centre of the controversial referees call to the Brisbane Broncos, says he had no idea at the time he was the player penalised in the 9-7 loss on Friday night and believes both sides deserved a draw result.
The 27-year-old was pinged by referee Ashley Klein for not being square at marker in the dying stages of golden point to gift Broncos rookie Jamayne Isaako a penalty goal from in front and deliver the visitors their second victory of the season.
NRL referees boss Bernard Sutton has since spoken to NRL.com on Saturday, admitting the match officials made the incorrect decision to penalise Rochow, indicating interchange forward Joe Ofahengaue played a part at the play-the-ball.
“It’s one of those ones, there’s not much to say on it,” Rochow said.
"I played every minute of that game and you just don’t know. You’re out on your feet especially in golden point. I just did my best to get to the kicker. Whether I left early or wasn’t square or not I’m not sure.
“It’s the refs decision on the day. Once the decision is made, whether it’s right or wrong. It’s 30 metres in front. You can’t change the decision and the game’s over. It’s one of those things whether he justifies it or not.”
The referee’s boss’ admission is only set to add salt into the wounds for Ivan Cleary and the Wests Tigers faithful, after the coach made his feelings felt post-game.
“It doesn’t matter, does it?,” Rochow said on the reality of whether the call was right or wrong.
“It’s a tough decision, a tough way to lose but we know we’ve got a lot improvement in us as well. We didn’t play the way we wanted to but we were still in [the game] which is a big thing for us.”
Despite the finish, Rochow declared golden point still had a place in the sport but admitted having the two competition points split would have been a better reflection after a low-quality performance from both outfits.
“I think everything is in context. A game like that, the way we played and how it went in the end, I would’ve been happy with a draw,” Rochow said.
“[Golden point] has obviously got a place in our game but whether it’s during the week-to-week rounds is up to the game to decide.”
The Wests Tigers’ defence in the opening three rounds has been a major talking point with the joint venture conceding only two tries in 247 minutes to start the year.
After landing the toughest draw in Telstra Premiership history, Rochow put the side’s strong defensive display down to the opposition’s vulnerability early on in the season.
“If you’re going to do it’s definitely in those early rounds,” Rochow said.
"I think we’ve played teams that have had major changes. Not so much the Broncos but the first two teams. You can really tell in their attack. They had opportunities where they didn’t execute very well.
“But in saying that our energy and effort hasn’t been faulted. We have to find a way to produce that and then be able to be a bit more energy on the other side of the ball and be in position early and run the right shapes at the right times because we’re really letting a lot of opportunities slip.”