Match reportAs it happened: Bulldogs v RabbitohsFollow LeagueHQ on TwitterFive things we learntAndrew Webster: Dogs will have to wait for revenge
Referees boss Tony Archer wouldn’t confirm whether the officials made the right call awarding a penalty to South Sydney in the dying minutes of their clash against Canterbury.
Archer was reluctant to comment given Canterbury skipper James Graham was put on report for the collision that has left South Sydney’s Adam Reynolds facing five months out of the game. However the referees boss said: “There can’t be late, high or dangerous contact”.
“That’s how they processed it. It’s really difficult for me to comment … because the player has been put on report for the dangerous contact. There is a process that has to occur in relation to that. Obviously in relation to the incident the referee took some action on the field. A player was placed in the sin-bin because of the comments that were made. No doubt there was some confusion about why the penalty was 10 metres out from the spot. It’s not ideal but these circumstances do arrive in games from time to time.”
In one of the most extraordinary finishes in rugby league history, a controversial penalty against Graham cost the Bulldogs victory against South Sydney.
Graham was fuming with the match officials after they penalised the Englishman for attacking the legs of Reynolds, who was trying to land a 45-metre field goal in the dying minutes to take the game into golden point.
Reynolds suffered a leg injury in the collision and if it wasn’t for the concern shown by Graham for the Rabbitohs No.7, the officials might not have called time out for video referee Bernard Sutton to inspect.
It was brutal and gutsy, but perhaps undeserved was the best adjective to describe South Sydney’s come-from-behind victory in the grand final rematch.
The kings of clutch looked to have done it again when Trent Hodkinson slotted a field goal with three minutes remaining, only for controversy to overshadow one of the games of the season.
Earlier, it was an old-fashioned ambush, and for a change it wasn’t the premiers dishing it out.
The Bulldogs produced a brutal and relentless onslaught on their arch nemesis, stunning the Rabbitohs with a type of performance that has become synonymous with South Sydney under the Michael Maguire regime.
But an error and a brain explosion from Canterbury in the space of 30 seconds turned the game, and Issac Luke, on its head.
Luke, who missed last year’s grand final through suspension, ignited his team into action on the stroke of half-time, darting from dummy half to score.
But the moments leading up to the Rabbitohs rake planting the ball on the chalk would leave Luke in Disneyland, Josh Morris on report and Adam Reynolds taking consecutive shots at goal.
The video referee deemed Morris had lashed out with his boot, making contact with Luke’s head – not that his skipper agreed.
“Can you look at the speed we’re playing the game at,” an angry Graham said to referee Gerard Sutton. “How’s he supposed to pull out of it?”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.