'Cheated And Disappointed': NRL Fans Reeling After 'Six Again' Controversy
While the Sydney Roosters revel in their back-to-back Grand Final wins, Canberra Raiders fans have wasted no time expressing their disappointment at a controversial referee's call.
The Roosters defeated the Raiders 14-8 in Sunday night's NRL Grand Final and many attribute the victory, in part, to a somewhat confusing call from head referee Ben Cummins.
Late in the second half of the decider, Cummins initially signalled for another Raiders set of six tackles. He was then advised by assistant ref Gerard Sutton and touch judge Chris Butler, that the ball had come off a Raiders player and that the call should be reversed to 'play on'.
Cummins changed the call immediately, calling 'play on' four times on field.
Many Raiders players thought they had another set, and attempted to grab the ball and head for the try line, only to be stopped.
NRL head of football and former referee Graham Annesley backed the call made by the refs during an after-match press conference. Annesley said he'd watched four different camera angles of the incident and said the ball had indeed come off a Raiders player.
"That meant six tackles should not have been awarded," Annesley said. "But I accept it created confusion among the Canberra players.
"It's obviously very messy and very disappointing for the game as a whole that we're now talking about an incident where they actually got the decision right -- but they got it right in a way that's caused controversy."
Raiders and NRL fans alike inundated social media with their disappointment and frustration at the call. The discussion around the moment was so widespread that the hashtag #sixagain started trending on Twitter.
Of course, with all controversial calls, there was a range of opinions. Some fans came out in support of the game officials, declaring that the correct decision was made --even if that is the unpopular opinion.
Raiders Coach Ricky Stuart refused to comment on the call in his after-match press conference. Raiders players will also not be addressing the issue.
"Tonight is not the time to talk about it. The Roosters achieved something special tonight winning two grand finals in a row. I don’t want to take the spotlight off that," Stuart said.
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