Melbourne Storm fans have been left seething after Harry Grant gave away a penalty try against the Broncos in a highly controversial call from the NRL Bunker. The Storm continued their winning ways at AAMI Park with a controversial 24-16 win over the table leaders on Thursday night.
However, the NRL world was quickly divided over a controversial call in the 23rd minute as the Storm led 6-0 when the Broncos were awarded a penalty try. Reece Walsh was at his brilliant best and flicked the ball to Herbie Farnworth.
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The ball ricocheted off his knee and was propelled towards the try line. Farnworth was then in a race to the ball against Storm No.9 Grant.
As Farnworth appeared ahead of Grant and ready to win the foot race, Grant moved across the forward and went to kick at the ball as it bobbled. He then put a hand on the Broncos star's back as they became entangled.
Brisbane halfback Adam Reynolds flew past the two players and grounded the ball on the dead ball line. Reynolds' effort was ruled a no try, which also saw the halfback knocked out after slamming his head against the turf.
Commentator Dane Ginnane questioned how much intervention Grant had in the play. "He is trying to pull out. Has he done anything wrong here, Grant?" Ginanne asked.
The Bunker intervened and ruled that Farnworth would have been first to the ball in a try scoring position without Grant's intervention. "There is a big decision, a big decision indeed," commentator Ginnane said.
Following the replay, former NRL star Michael Ennis admitted that he thought it was a penalty try on first observation. “I saw it live, I wasn’t sure if I was over-exaggerating, but when I saw it on the replay, particularly at full speed, there’s no doubt Harry puts his hand on his back and pushes him forward. You can’t do it.”
However, the NRL world wasn't as convinced. The call divided viewers with many Storm fans incensed Walsh wasn't called for a potential shoulder charge only moments earlier.
Is that a penalty try?
— Jamie Soward (@sowwowofficial6) May 5, 2023
No Walsh shoulder charge, Olam scores.
— The Mole (@9_Moley) May 11, 2023
It's a penalty try all day long, not sure how some are complaining. Grant was all over Herbie whether 'accidental' or not. Meaney even had a go at Herbie too.
— CAPEL (@laurencecapel) May 11, 2023
That’s a joke 😂
— Jeff Smith (@Jeffro6366) May 11, 2023
What a joke how’s the Walsh shoulder charge ????
— Connor Moran (@cmoran1407) May 11, 2023
So... Walsh goes with a shoulder charge, no penalty, and then they call THAT a penalty try?
NRL refs off to an absolute flier this weekend. #NRLStormBroncos
— Scott Pryde (@sk_pryde) May 11, 2023
Peak NRL, absurd penalty try after missing Walsh’s shoulder charge. Bunker having a howler.
— Steve Noble (@916_stevo) May 11, 2023
Someone needs to teach the Storm fans the rules. Had to be a penalty try #NRLStormBroncos
— Mike Scolz (@skulzy87) May 11, 2023
I think Grant jumping on Herbie's back was bizarre, but I didn't know what to make of it. I guess I thought Grant would get there first, but then he jumps on his back so u cant do that... people will have different opinions
— Cam Sánchez (@CamMagicMan) May 11, 2023
Adam Reynolds taken off in stretcher in Storm clash
The veteran halfback remained motionless on the ground over the deadball line after diving in an unsuccessful attempt to ground a loose ball for a try. Reynold appeared to hit his head as he dived, with Storm hooker Harry Grant immediately signalling to medical staff for assistance.
He was able to wriggle his fingers as he was taken in a medi-cab from the field. Television commentary said that doctors had cleared Reynolds of serious injury.
"He felt nerves in his neck twinge but he's been cleared of a serious neck injury," Fox Sports reported from the sideline. Reynolds was, however, ruled out of the match.
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