Canterbury star Dallin Watene-Zelezniak will be forever haunted by his backwards play-the-ball, NRL great Paul Gallen says.
The New Zealand Test captain had a nightmare moment 14 minutes into Bulldogs vs Eels on Sunday, rising from a tackle and playing the ball the wrong way; facing his own tryline.
He turned over possession and the Eels scored immediately after through skipper Clint Gutherson.
It proved extremely costly – the last-placed Bulldogs lost 18-16.
“He will never live that down,” Gallen said on The Final Whistle.
“He will never live that down as long as he lives. That’s what he’ll be known for.
“It will be replayed at his 30th, his 40th, his 50th. His whole life.
“And they got beaten by two points. My god. Tough day.”
Watene-Zelezniak joined Martin Bella in the reverse play-the-ball club.
On one hand, the burly front-rower outdid the winger; he produced his moment of comical infamy in a State of Origin match, playing for Queensland way back in the 1994 series opener.
However, Bella realised his mistake halfway through and refrained from actually playing the ball; though he still turned over possession. DWZ completed his play-the-ball before realising his embarrassing error.
And Bella was spared to some degree by Maroons teammate Mark Coyne, who ended the match with perhaps the most famous try in Origin history; the “miracle” last-gasp four-pointer that gave Queensland a 16-12 win.