Clint Gutherson lashes referee over 'horrible' call after Eels dudded in NRL loss to Bulldogs

The Parramatta captain wasn't happy with the match-winning try.

The Parramatta Eels were left crying foul after their loss to the Bulldogs on Monday after the referees appeared to miss an obstruction on the game-winning try. The Bulldogs came back to beat the Eels at the death, with Blake Wilson scoring the winner in the 74th minute for a 22-18 victory.

But the Eels were left seething over the winning try after it appeared as though Dylan Brown was taken out illegally in the lead-up. Stephen Crichton could be seen running at Brown's outside shoulder as a decoy, and prevented the Eels player from sliding across as the Dogs spread the ball out wide.

Clint Gutherson and Dylan Brown during the Parramatta Eels' loss to the Bulldogs.
Clint Gutherson was left fuming after Dylan Brown was taken out on the Bulldogs' match-winning try. Image: Fox League

Connor Tracey managed to find space and set up Wilson to score his second try of the night. Referee Peter Gough awarded the try on-field, and the Bunker cleared the incident between Crichton and Brown.


But Eels captain Clint Gutherson was left fuming at Gough and engaged in a verbal battle with the referee up until the next kick-off. “Oh my god, that’s horrible, that is horrible,” Gutherson could be heard saying as he prepared for the kick.

Gough shot back: “Regardless of your opinion as captain, do not speak to me like that when you ask me for the answer. That is not acceptable. You need to be better as a captain.”

Gutherson then took up his argument with Gough after the full-time whistle. Gough said he thought Crichton was a support player rather than a decoy and that both he and Brown were travelling in the direction of the ball.

"But he’s a lead," Gutherson said. "He led inside our 'two man' (Brown). That’s the call, that’s the play.” Gough said: “I can only give you what I can give you.”

Clint Gutherson and referee Peter Gough.
Clint Gutherson had a verbal battle with referee Peter Gough. Image: Fox League

Gutherson: “I understand, but they’re going to come out tomorrow and say that’s the wrong call and it cost us the game. That play cost us the game.”

Gough: “I understand that’s a game-winning try. I understand that.”

Gutherson: “But every other obstruction like that where a lead is inside our two man and the half gets taken out, it’s a penalty. Every day of the week. It happened two times tonight.”

Gough said because the Bulldogs broke the line out wide, the Brown incident didn't affect the defensive line. Gutherson responded: "But Dylan gets back and makes the tackle, that’s the play. It’s a bad call, man, it is. You know it is.”

Gough: “That might be the case, Clint, but that’s the decision, mate. Come on.”

Parramatta fans were also left fuming on social media. Gough's explanation that Crichton was a support player rather than a decoy didn't really ring true on watching the replay, however the Bunker might have deemed that Brown went down too easily of his own accord and tried to milk a penalty.

The Eels led 12-10 at half-time, but aspiring NSW State of Origin halfback Mitchell Moses was unable to ice the game when it mattered most. "I thought in our first half he (Moses) did some really good things," interim Eels coach Trent Barrett said.

"Given the time he's had off, he still did some brilliant things tonight and he'll be better again next week. If NSW go down that route, they won't regret it. He's an excellent player and a big part of our team."

Moses appears odds-on to replace Nicho Hynes at halfback for the Blues for Origin II. Hynes failed to fire in Game I and produced a couple of awful defensive efforts that led to Queensland tries.