NEWS ‘Controversial call’: NRL to investigate bunker backflip

Kimlo

Kimlo

International Captain
Senior Staff
Apr 26, 2008
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Source: Sydney Morning Herald
By Adrian Proszenko May 19, 2023 — 6.13pm

The NRL will examine whether the means justified the ends after bunker protocols were seemingly bypassed in a crucial decision in Penrith’s win over Brisbane on Thursday night. The bunker disallowed a try to Broncos star Kotoni Staggs after ruling that teammate Reece Walsh impeded Penrith’s attempts to defuse a kick from halfback Jock Madden.

Referee Adam Gee sent the decision upstairs as “no try” and bunker official Ashley Klein was poised to overrule after watching the initial replay.

“Reece Walsh is contesting the ball, we’re playing on at this stage,” Klein said. That comment prompted Gee, who felt Walsh was guilty of obstruction, to say: “It doesn’t look right to me Ash.”

Upon further review, Klein agreed, and the try became one of five disallowed at Suncorp Stadium.

Nine’s commentary team felt the right decision was made, albeit via an unusual process.

“Thank goodness Adam Gee looked up at the screen and went, ‘That doesn’t look right,’” Paul Vautin said. “The dude in the bunker [was going to rule] play on.

In the end they got it right.” Cameron Smith added: “It was a bit of common sense there, wasn’t it Fatty [Vautin]? If it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t right.”

NRL head of football Graham Annesley said it was too early to determine whether the decision was correct and if the right protocols were followed in reaching it.

However, the incident will go under the microscope, as do all contentious calls from the weekend, as part of an NRL review on Monday.

Not all decisions in our game are black and white,” Annesley said. “There will always be controversial calls that divide opinion, and last night’s decision falls firmly into that category.

As per standard practice, we will review it in great detail on Monday using all available camera angles and audio feeds. “In relation to the process, the objective of the bunker is to get things right, and match officials work as a team to do just that to a very high standard.

When they are wrong, we always demonstrate transparency and accountability by accepting responsibility.

However, where it simply comes down to a matter of opinion in very tight calls, we will of course back our officials

Broncos coach Kevin Walters felt Staggs should have been awarded a try and described the decision-making process as “strange”. “I thought it was a try, but you win some and you lose some,” Walters said.

“We’re not having a lot of joy with some decisions at the moment, but again I’m OK with that. If you keep working hard, things will turn around and decisions will start [going your way]. “We probably got a few earlier in the year when we went on that run, a few decisions went our way.

It was a bit weird though, the referee, the second time, had a look at it. I believe that’s when he [changed his mind]. I’m not sure what Reece is meant to do. He went to catch the ball, his eyes are on the ball. What if Reece catches it? Is it no try because he took the opposition out?

I’m not going to bang on about that, it wasn’t make or break for us. It was strange, it was a strange one. But some of our players do strange things on the field as well and I question what they are doing.”
 
I hate the refs more than anyone but Fatty’s endless undermining of the refs during this game was ruining the game. Crazy that the NRL allows nine to shit on the product so overtly. Even if he’s right half the time
 
I dont care if its the right call.

Gee made a call based on one angle he saw on the big screen, overruling the guy in the bunker who has far more angles and vantage points as his disposal.

Once again this fucking amateur game looks like the ridiculous organized and corruptible farce it has become.

"Oh its all good because it was the right call, even though it was made in a completely unprecedented move, and in case where the on field ref absolutely did NOT have a clear picture vs what the bunker has available".

ive said it before, i will say it again.

**** THE NRL.

Ruin my favorite sport you sons of bitches.
 
I genuinely do not agree that it was the right call. It was a challenge in the air, where one player jumped and turned to get to the ball. He won the challenge. Walsh might be too smart for this sport
 
I am with McHunt

It doesn't matter that we're the ones who get dicked every second week, who cares if it costs us a spot in the finals or a home final, not like we pay tickets to the games or anything, right?
 
I am with McHunt

It doesn't matter that we're the ones who get dicked every second week, who cares if it costs us a spot in the finals or a home final, not like we pay tickets to the games or anything, right?

Like I said, the Broncos winning premierships doesn't benefit the NRL enough to bother with. Our supporters turn up to games in their thousands whether we're getting dicked by the refs or not. The NRL has nothing to lose. Meanwhile Souffs regularly have thousands of empty seats at Accor and they sit at the top of the ladder.

The same fucked mentality that made our joint fall apart under Paul White is the one they're running with at the very top. They aren't running a sports competition, they're running a business.
 
I have made the trip to Sydney on four separate occasions to spend my hard earned filthy lucre on the Grand Final. Each time I went I had no doubts at all that it was money well spent as I would be paying to witness two of the best teams that year fight it out for the big prize.

Now, I wouldn't dream of laying out my mullah on a product that is determined by a couple of clown's interpretation of the rules on the day. Even when the Broncos reach their next GF I'll be loathe to shell out for a product that is more rare and less stable than Francium.

How often do you hear coaches say "I'd hate to think that decision would decide a grand final"? It's a frikkin lottery now. Instead of sticking by the rules from the start of the season the officials meet every week and decide what their agenda for the round will be. At the end of the round they go into damage control and decide what they did that weekend will need to be changed for the next weekend and that something else will now be "policed".

Invariably, because of our drawing power with TV audiences we are involved in the opening of the round. So the new crackdown falls on our guys, but when it transpires that they've made a major balls up the agenda is dropped by the next tranche of games of the round. As a consequence we are stuck with the "Broncos exception" rule.

It's beyond laughable now.
 
I genuinely do not agree that it was the right call. It was a challenge in the air, where one player jumped and turned to get to the ball. He won the challenge. Walsh might be too smart for this sport
Yea mate, it was a 50/50 for me. Happy with the call going either way, but im not siding with those shill commentators who said they don't care how they got to the call as long as it was the right call.

Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk etc etc.
 
I am with McHunt

It doesn't matter that we're the ones who get dicked every second week, who cares if it costs us a spot in the finals or a home final, not like we pay tickets to the games or anything, right?
What @McHunt actually said:
"Over-ruling the bunker, on the other hand, is absolutely not on. I'm all for the official decision being final - regardless whether it might be "wrong" - but that also applies to the referee, who is overruled by the bunker in the official chain of command. The ref's opinion is fine - and probably correct - but it doesn't matter once the bunker has ruled. That was some weird shit. The bunker should've rejected his call."​

 
I dont care if its the right call.

Gee made a call based on one angle he saw on the big screen, overruling the guy in the bunker who has far more angles and vantage points as his disposal.

Once again this fucking amateur game looks like the ridiculous organized and corruptible farce it has become.

"Oh its all good because it was the right call, even though it was made in a completely unprecedented move, and in case where the on field ref absolutely did NOT have a clear picture vs what the bunker has available".

ive said it before, i will say it again.

**** THE NRL.

Ruin my favorite sport you sons of bitches.
The problem with the call - and calls like these - is it requires you read the player's mind, and presume he must look at the ball to contest the ball. It's more common sense than that: a player can both be aware of the ball's trajectory, other players in the contest AND be concerned about his own safety. In fact, he MUST have that awareness in his peripheral vision, otherwise he'll end up on a stretcher.

This contradicts rulings of "careless" in defence, where the player has to be aware of not only his goal in stopping the offensive player, but the well-being of that player.

In my opinion, Walsh is well within his rights to avert his eyes from the ball in pursuit of it, and it's beyond the bunker to read his mind. If the referee or touch judge watched him make a beeline for another player and deliberately take him out, there was no need to involve the bunker.
 
The problem with the call - and calls like these - is it requires you read the player's mind, and presume he must look at the ball to contest the ball. It's more common sense than that: a player can both be aware of the ball's trajectory, other players in the contest AND be concerned about his own safety. In fact, he MUST have that awareness in his peripheral vision, otherwise he'll end up on a stretcher.

This contradicts rulings of "careless" in defence, where the player has to be aware of not only his goal in stopping the offensive player, but the well-being of that player.

In my opinion, Walsh is well within his rights to avert his eyes from the ball in pursuit of it, and it's beyond the bunker to read his mind. If the referee or touch judge watched him make a beeline for another player and deliberately take him out, there was no need to involve the bunker.

I agree 100% with this. You will often see players using the opposition's positioning to get a bearing on where a high ball is coming down, especially one close to the line and closer to the posts, where the ball would literally be directly above them.

If Staggs wasn't there (say he gets a bump on the way) Walsh catches it himself and no one bats an eyelid.
 
I agree 100% with this. You will often see players using the opposition's positioning to get a bearing on where a high ball is coming down, especially one close to the line and closer to the posts, where the ball would literally be directly above them.

If Staggs wasn't there (say he gets a bump on the way) Walsh catches it himself and no one bats an eyelid.

Yep we were penalised for getting there earliest and best and as expected, in both last nights games similar things happened and it was play on.
 

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