NRL says refs got controversial call correct
The NRL are adamant the decision to reverse a six-again call in the final stages of the 2019 NRL Grand Final was the correct call.
Their own rules confirm it was a mistake that will come to define the match.
With the scores level at 8-8 with eight minutes to go, Raiders star Jack Wighton hoisted the ball in the air and it came down in a crowded pack of players. As it bounced backwards into the Raiders' grasp, referee Ben Cummins waived his hands in the air, to signal a new set, and could be heard saying "six again".
However, when the call from his assistant referee Gerard Sutton that the ball had in fact deflected off a Raiders' player, he quickly changed his call. He could be heard saying "last tackle" on five occasions, however the Raiders were oblivious.
Wighton, who believed that it was the zero tackle, was rounded up by the Roosters defence.
From the ensuing set, the Roosters scored a brilliant team try with fullback James Tedesco sealing the game and back-to-back titles for the men in red, white and blue.
Speaking in the aftermath of the match, NRL head of football Graham Annesley said that ultimately, the right decision was made because he ball had bounced off the Raiders.
"Does that initial decision affect the way Canberra play out that tackle, yeah I'm sure it does? "But if they had not and the Raiders had scored, I'd probably be sitting here telling you that a try had been scored off an incorrect decision," Annesley said
Perhaps Annesley should have taken a closer look at the NRL's official 2019 Rugby League Laws of the Game.
As first reported by Fairfax, Rule 16.9 says the only way Cummins could have lawfully overturned the call was if foul play was present.
"The referee judges on matters of fact and shall not subsequently alter those judgments," the rule states.
"He may cancel any decision made if prior foul play of which he had no knowledge is reported to him by a touch judge."
It comes as the NRL vowed to throw its support behind under-fire Cummins,
ARL Commission chairman Peter Beattie said on Monday, Cummins wouldn't have been feeling good following the grand final.
"Sometimes things happen that are no one's fault," Beattie said. "Nobody is saying Ben went out there to make a bad decision. Of course he didn't.
"We will support him because at the end of the day if people keep vilifying referees no one will want to do this job."