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Details have emerged about an incident in the Canberra Raiders' win over Melbourne Storm in which Raiders players appeared to be tricked by a Storm fan blowing a whistle.
Harry Grant gave the Storm a short-lived lead in the second-half of Sunday's game at AAMI Park when he took advantage of some shoddy defence and dived over from dummy-half.
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The Storm hooker darted over after taking off down the short-side, with Corey Harawira-Naera and Joseph Tapine barely laying a finger on Grant.
Raiders players immediately remonstrated with referee Ashley Klein, but it wasn't clear what they were complaining about.
However details have since come to light that Canberra players were fuming about a fan who blew a whistle.
The sound of a whistle could clearly be heard in replays of the try, which came just seconds before Grant picked up the ball.
Raiders fullback Xavier Savage immediately spun around to look at Klein after hearing the whistle and failed to attempt a tackle on Grant.
Canberra captain Josh Papali'i then approached Klein to complain, but there was nothing the referee could do.
"Interesting watching the reaction there of Papali'i and Xavier Savage," Michael Ennis said in commentary for Fox Sports.
"They were instantly blowing up about something."
Raiders fan account 'The Greenhouse' tweeted: "Were we just imagining the whistle blowing before that Harry Grant try?!
"Listening on the replay, there is definitely a whistle, so it is no wonder that the Canberra Raiders defenders thought that there was something amiss in the Storm play the ball. Could have been very costly."
Listening on the replay, there is definitely a whistle, so it is no wonder that the Canberra Raiders defenders thought that there was something amiss in the Storm play the ball. Could have been very costly. @NRL #NRL #NRLStormRaiders #WeAreRaiders #wearecbr #rugbyleague
— The Greenhouse (@TheGHRaiders) July 17, 2022
I heard that as well? Phantom from the crowd? If it was a ruck infringement it would have just been a set restart no whistle needed. I think the raiders fell for a crowd call on that one
— Glen Edwards (@glene) July 17, 2022
Definitely heard it on the replay no wonder the boys stopped.
— Bjschima (@bjschima) July 17, 2022
Jesus, I thought I’d imagined it….
— David (@daystacka) July 17, 2022
Should the Melbourne try been disallowed when the raiders players responded to a clear whistle being blown? I believe that it would not have been a try if the raiders players had not stopped because of the whistle. Luckily it didn't decide the result of the game.
— Suzy Hill (@BillingSuzann) July 18, 2022
— David A (@DavidA_2110) July 18, 2022
Ryan Papenhuyzen injured as Raiders shock the Storm
Luckily for the Raiders it didn't prove costly, with a late James Schiller try propelling the visitors to a 20-16 victory.
In a horror blow for the Storm, fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen appears destined to miss the remainder of the season after breaking his kneecap in a collision with Jack Wighton.
Two tries to young winger Schiller, the nephew of Canberra legend Brett Mullins, helped the Raiders to victory on Sunday and kept their finals hopes alive.
For the first time since round nine, Melbourne had their complete spine back together, but that lasted just 19 minutes after Papenhuyzen was helped off after a sickening clash of right kneecaps with Wighton.
He was taken to hospital and is expected to have an operation on Monday.
Ryan Papenhuyzen off to hospital with his patella (kneecap) fracture, expected to undergo surgery tomorrow. Usually indicates a more significant fracture (possible “complete break”), was the fear w amount of trauma involved. Usual 4-6 month recovery time if so, thoughts with him pic.twitter.com/h5dvvRu87s
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) July 17, 2022
"He's got a broken kneecap and he won't be back (this season) I wouldn't imagine," Storm coach Craig Bellamy said.
Wighton had plenty of sympathy for Papenhuyzen, who he described as a champion bloke and player.
"I really hate seeing that stuff for any player," Wighton said.
Papenhuyzen has scored 14 tries in 11 games this season but has missed matches with a posterior cruciate ligament injury and a hamstring issue.
"He's laboured a little bit since he has been back but I thought he looked pretty sharp there," Bellamy said.
The Raiders notched a fourth-straight win over the Storm at AAMI Park and moved up one spot to 10th, just two points behind eighth-placed Manly.
"We're in the (finals) hunt there's no doubt about that I just need us to play with that type of spirit," Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said.
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