NRL head of football Graham Annesley has admitted the Manly Sea Eagles should have received a penalty that would have given them a kick to draw level with the Knights right on full-time.
Video review official Jared Maxwell chose not to take action against Bradman Best and Newcastle held on for a thrilling 14-12 win.
It’s a call that had huge ramifications for the Sea Eagles, who dropped out of the top eight because of the loss and will likely be without star prop Addin Fonua-Blake for the next two matches due to his furious reaction to the last minute controversy.
Annesley addressed the controversial play on Monday afternoon and said that in his “judgement,” the bunker should’ve awarded Manly with a penalty.
“In my judgement, I believe this should have brought a penalty to Manly,” Annesley said at his weekly football briefing.
“The video referee Jared Maxwell in the bunker, in his judgement, he felt that Bradman Best was committed to the tackle and didn’t have sufficient time to pull out of it, that’s why he cleared the push and the collision as not having any impact.
“I think he did have time to adjust to at least prevent the final push and in my view, I would have been much happier to give a penalty awarded in that situation.
“The bunker made a decision I just don’t happen to agree with the bunker in this case.”
Annesley said he spoke to Manly coach Des Hasler and CEO Stephen Humphreys, confirming the game wants to allow “judgement” instead of “black and white” interpretations, which could create further issues.
“I have spoken to Manly both the coach and the chief executive. They were both very good when I spoke to them. I spoke to Des last night after the game and admittedly he didn’t have a lot of time to review video of it,” he said.
“I did speak to Stephen Humphreys today, we did talk about using judgement in these scenarios is the right way to go, or (whether) they should be black and white.
“I think a black and white application of the rules – while it will serve you well in some cases there will be many other cases where it won’t.”