The Cowboys walked away with a point win on Sunday after the Tigers were brutalized in a “very tough” decision that shocked the rugby league world.
In the clash between the second and 16th, the Tigers never expected to win, but in the final two minutes they put themselves in position to get the two points.
With a 26-25 lead and just one second left on the clock, the Cowboys started.
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Cowboys winger Kyle Feld intentionally ran into Tigers winger Asu Kepaoa and fell to the ground.
Immediately, several Cowboys players threw their hands in the air and captain Chad Townsend chose to use the captain’s try, declaring that Field had been escorted off the ball.
“There’s a collision off the ball, no whistle this time. Chris Butler wants to hear from Bunker and his sideline officials,” Fox League analyst Warren Smith said.
Greg Alexander questioned whether the referee had even stopped the game to create a challenge, saying: “Kepao is running to the ball, he has no eyes for Kyle Feldt.” I don’t think you can give a punishment.”
Meanwhile, Smith was confident the Cowboys would win their challenge and “game over”.
However, Bunker official Ashley Klein sees it differently.
“Asu Kepaoa is running to the ball, he’s running sideways to block Kyle Feldt, and that’s denying Kyle Feldt,” he said, giving the Cowboys a penalty that effectively succeeded the challenge.
“Oh my god… are you serious? He had a shocker in the box today, Ashley Klein, an absolute shocker,” Alexander said in disbelief.
“He was saying Kepao stepped aside, that’s rubbish. He’s running towards the ball, that’s why he’s off to the side.
“Wow, that’s a great call from Bunker. He did the odd ones out on both sides this afternoon.
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“What I was trying to say before was Dane Lawrie had the ball. Where was the stop? Who stopped play? The referee didn’t.
“He can stop the game only if he throws a penalty. So why is the game stopped?” You can’t resist when a game is flowing.
“I want to hear them (NRL) talk their way out of this.”
Smith believes Cowboys coach Todd Payne will be a little shocked by the call.
“I think even Todd Payne would be a little 50/50 with what he saw. Rainbow is wondering where you know we got beat up.
“It looks like one of the toughest calls we’ve seen in a long time.”
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Matty Jones said after the game that it was “bad” and “hard to believe”, while Brian Fletcher said: “Isn’t it right?” he said.
Meanwhile, Nathan Hindmarsh went a step further, saying: “I think the Tigers have been robbed here.”
Several rugby league pundits took to Twitter in disbelief.