Wests Tigers officials have not ruled out appealing the result of Sunday’s game against North and have told the they are ‘exploring all options’.
A controversial penalty with one second left on the clock robbed the Tigers of what would have been their first win since Round 11, as Valentine Holmes kicked the two-pointer to give the Cowboys a 27-26 win in Townsville.
According to the , however, enraged Tigers officials have suggested they could look at legal action in an attempt to get the NRL to overturn the result of the game.
Wests Tigers players were left dejected after the Cowboys snatched a late win following a controversial penalty at Country Bank Stadium on Sunday night
Trailing 25-18 with six minutes to go, the Tigers looked to have sealed a famous comeback win courtesy of tries from Brent Naden and Starford To’a with the latter crossing with 90 seconds left to play.
But it was not to be for Wests, who conceded a penalty after the Cowboys kicked off with one second on the clock when Asu Kepaoa was judged to have taken out Kyle Feldt after the restart.
Contact between Feldt and Kepaoa appeared minimal but the Cowboys winger ended up on the turf and North Queensland skipper Chad Townsend opted to use a captain’s challenge.
Referee Chris Buttler referred the decision to the Bunker, with video official Ashley Klein awarding the Cowboys a penalty, which Holmes duly converted.
Referee Chris Butler awarded a controversial late penalty to the Cowboys after the Bunker intervened and deemed Asu Kepaoa had taken out Kyle Feldt
The Tigers are questioning why Townsend was allowed to challenge the incident, despite not being a stoppage in play.
Speaking after the game, stand-in Tigers coach Ben Gardiner, who replace interim coach Brett Kimmorley after the latter contracted Covid-19, insisted his players thought ‘the game was over’ when Buttler blew his whistle.
‘It was a moment of elation and a moment of deflation. I felt I wasn’t quite sure on why the decision was made,’ he said.
‘My understanding is when the Bunker comes into play when there is a challenge made, it has to be when there is an indiscretion in the play, when there is a breakdown in the play.
Valentine Holmes made no mistake and kicked the Cowboys to a 27-26 win
The win lifted North Queensland up to second on the NRL ladder behind Penrith
My understanding is we caught the ball, the game was over, and that’s where it should have ended.
‘I’ve been around coaching for a long time and you can get upset, you can complain, you can do all those sorts of things, but it doesn’t change anything. It was a moment of deflation, that’s for sure.’
However, two hours after fulltime on Sunday, the NRL claimed the correct process had been followed.
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‘Although the referee had blown his whistle to stop the game after the last tackle was completed as time had expired, he had not yet called fulltime,’ a spokesman said.
NRL head of football Graham Annesley will likely be under pressure to explain the decision
The NRL also claimed that while the beylikdüzü escort penalty was not blown on field, the call of stopping play for the end of the match was able to be challenged by the Cowboys if they believed there had been foul play.
‘The whole concept of the captain’s challenge is to make sure any decision by the referee that stops the game can be reviewed,” the spokesman said.
‘To not do so would effectively deny a team the right to have an officiating error corrected.’
The league said they would review on Monday whether the bunker call of escort was a correct one.