What a joke!! Everyone bar broncos supporters know that the NRL do everything in their power to make sure the horses are in the 8. So now they just blatantly rip teams off and apologise afterwards.
Jamayne Isaako’s matchwinning field goal should never have been awarded. But that’s not the only howler to have robbed the Eels of two competition points and a shot at a top four finish.
Parramatta were robbed of the chance to finish in the NRL’s top four courtesy of a series of refereeing blunders in Friday night’s heartbreaking golden-point loss to Brisbane.
NRL referees boss Bernard Sutton has confirmed in a private chat with coach Brad Arthur that three crucial calls went against the Eels, including a howler at the death.
Broncos skipper Darius Boyd was not penalised for pushing Clint Gutherson into Matt Lodge as Gutherson tried to charge down Jamayne Isaako’s match-winning field goal.
On Monday night, Sutton said that was a blunder.
“I’m of the opinion that the Eels should have been awarded a penalty,” Sutton said.
“Darius is entitled to take up the position he initially moves to.
“However, he is not permitted to then adjust his position to obstruct or interfere with Clint Gutherson. Darius is required to hold his ground.”
Although it received little attention from the commentators on the night, there was outrage among the Eels’ faithful that such a crucial and obvious call could be missed when the pocket referee was standing right near the incident.
With the end-of-season finals just around the corner, it has again exposed how the rules become a lottery in extra-time.
But Graham Annesley, the NRL’s head of football, denied this was the case and claimed players were more conscious of giving away penalties during golden point.
What makes it more concerning is that this is the same situation that the NRL cracked down on in 2016 to stop teams deliberately standing in the way of chasing defenders who are trying to charge down field goals.
Arthur was also apparently told that Brisbane’s David Fifita should have been penalised in the lead-up play when he ran behind teammates before making a charge to get his side in position to kick the field goal.
Even though that would have been a tough call against the Broncos, it was an almost identical scenario Mitchell Moses had been pinged for in the 32nd minute.
And in a triple whammy, it is understood Sutton also told Arthur that the forward pass decision which cost Blake Ferguson a try was also wrong.
Annesley confirmed the wrong call on Monday.
“The pass looked OK to me,” he said.
“It’s one of those long, looping passes which often are a bit of an optical illusion but the most important thing is how it comes out of the hands … even though it was a high, looping pass it came out of the hands OK.”