Rugby league legends have labeled Bunker’s big mistake in Sunday night’s shock loss to the Tigers a “shocking indictment of our game”.
With just one second on the clock, Cowboys captain Chad Townsend used a captain’s tackle.
Bunker umpire Ashley Klein ran into the sidelines to block Asu Kepao Feldt, prompting criticism from pundits and the rugby league community.
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Speaking on Triple M, NRL legend Mark Geyer said it was a “bad day” for the sport.
“It was unbelievable, if anyone disagrees with what I have to say, it was one of the worst decisions in my 45 years in rugby league.”
“I still can’t believe we were like that.
“I am neutral in this game but what we saw last night was a shocking indictment of our game.
“Kyle Feldt stepped in, and you know what, he has every right to, he’s trying to win the game for the team, but it’s out of hand.
“And then it was in the hands of the officials, which we believe nine times out of ten would have produced the best result, but sorry, when it’s a penalty for the Cowboys, it’s a bad day for rugby league.
“In the spirit of the game,” Geyer said, the Tigers should have pulled off a big upset win.
The Cowboys were the favorites going into the tournament, but under the guidance of assistant coaches Ben Gardiner and Nathan Keils, the combined club came close to winning.
“A Cowboys player ran into a Tigers player, intentionally tripping Kyle Feldt,” Geyer said.
This was supposed to be the end of the game, but no… I’m not too desperate to find out exactly when and why these centurion challenges (so to speak) were when the game stopped.
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What I do know is that in the spirit of the game, the Tigers should not have lost that game.
“It was a bad look. If this is a win for the Cowboys, the spirit of the game is broken.”
“Stevie Wonder could see that wasn’t it… I don’t think that’s how you lose a game of rugby league.
“Ashley Clyne, I’m not going to get into you because everyone makes mistakes, they really do, I’ve never seen a rugby league team or player make a mistake.
“So the judges, touch the judges, the judges, they were wrong, but man, that was wrong in so many ways.
“We’re talking about Lee Hagipantelis from Brydens Lawyers taking some legal action, I don’t want to see legal action in our game right now.”
Meanwhile, on the Matty Jones Show, Nathan Hindmarsh said the Tigers had been “robbed”.
“This decision is bad,” Jones said.
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“If you’re a Tigers fan, you’re going to be upset. It’s hard to believe. That game was in the bag.
“That’s not right,” said Brian Fletcher.
“It’s a bad decision because he’s going for the ball. If I get caught, I don’t want to go in.”
“They’re both watching the ball,” Nathan Hindmarsh said.
“How is he changing direction? Tigers have been robbed here.