Club powerbrokers from the Wests Tigers have told the NRL they will explore all options after they were stripped of victory over the Cowboys due to a last-minute penalty.
The Tigers were denied a 26-25 victory when referee Chris Butler awarded the captain’s challenge without stopping the game, before team manager Ashley Klein inexplicably called an escort penalty against the Tigers, allowing Valentine Holmes to slot in the game-winner after the siren. A 27-26 Cowboys win.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Tigers officials will consider their legal options after the decision robbed them of two competition points.
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The Tigers are deciding whether they have grounds for an appeal, which if successful could force the NRL to overturn the result and award them the two points, stripping the Cowboys of the win.
Seething Tigers officials argue “game over” and when the referee blows the whistle the score is 26-25 to the Concord club.
The Tigers are questioning why the Cowboys were allowed to challenge a decision when there was no stoppage in the game – and if there was a stoppage, it was the full-time whistle.
But the NRL are said to be arguing that the referee blew one whistle and it was not considered a full-time whistle.
Michael Chamas has responded to the captain’s challenge issue from the NRL on Twitter.
An NRL spokesman said: “The captain’s challenge was allowed in these circumstances … although the match referee blew the whistle to stop play after the end of the game, he still did not call full-time.”
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The NRL were in injury control ahead of Graham Annesley’s weekly refereeing announcement on Monday afternoon.
The NRL has privately admitted its decision to punish Kepaoa was the wrong call.
Tigers coach Ben Gardiner was still trying to work out the crucial last-minute call post match at the press conference.
“It was a time of excitement and lies,” Gardiner said.
I felt unsure why the decision was made.
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“My understanding is that bunkers come into play when there’s a challenge, when there’s a carelessness in the game, when there’s a breakdown in the game.
“My understanding is that we had the ball, it was game over, and that’s where it should have ended.
“I’ve been a coach for a long time and you can get angry, you can complain, you can do all these things, but it doesn’t matter. It was a discount period, that’s for sure.”
Cowboys coach Todd Payne and head coach Chad Townsend admit they’re lucky to be out of jail, but believe it’s all part of the game.
“If I look back at the season so far, we had a big try last week. Even back to a round Hamiso [Tabuai-Fidow] “They cost us the game two minutes before the end of the try,” Peten said.
“What goes around comes around, we got one tonight. We finally got on the phone.”
“Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t.
“We got one tonight.”