Wests Tigers officials take action after 'robbery' shocks NRL world

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Sports Editor
·5-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Wests Tigers players, pictured here after their loss to the Cowboys.
The Wests Tigers are reportedly considering appealing their loss to the Cowboys.

The Wests Tigers have lodged an official complaint and are reportedly considering taking legal action in a bid to have their controversial loss to the Cowboys overturned.

Valentine Holmes kicked a controversial penalty goal after full-time to seal a 27-26 victory over the last-placed Tigers after Kyle Feldt was run-off his line by Asu Kepaoa with just one second remaining on the clock.

'TOO HONEST': Craig Bellamy under fire over post-match act

'CAR CRASH': Ivan Cleary left fuming over Stephen Crichton incident

While the call to penalise Kepaoa from bunker official Ashley Klein was highly debatable, questions are being asked about why the Cowboys were allowed to challenge the call in the first place.

On-field referee Chris Butler didn't initially award the penalty and appeared to blow his whistle for full-time, but then allowed Cowboys captain Chad Townsend to challenge the decision.

Klein then ruled that Kepaoa had illegally run Feldt off the ball, setting the stage for Holmes' match-winning penalty goal.

Crucially, NRL rules state that a captain's challenge is only permissible "in instances where the referee makes a decision that results in the match recommencing with a structured restart."

The rules state that a structured restart includes a scrum, penalty, sixth tackle handover, 20m restart or a goal-line dropout - none of which occurred before Townsend was allowed to challenge.

However the NRL has defended the call to allow North Queensland to challenge the play, claiming the correct process had been followed.

“The captain’s challenge was permissible in these circumstances ... 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 full-time,” an NRL spokesperson said on Sunday night.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Wests Tigers officials are now considering taking legal action and exploring their grounds for an appeal.

The publication has also made the bombshell claim that the NRL has privately conceded the decision to penalise Kepaoa was not correct.

Wests Tigers players, pictured here looking dejected after their controversial loss to the Cowboys.
Wests Tigers players look dejected after their controversial loss to the Cowboys. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

NRL world left raging over Wests Tigers 'robbery'

In a strongly-worded statement on Monday morning, the Tigers stopped short of demanding being awarded the two points, but CEO Justin Pascoe was adamant the NRL had clearly got the call wrong.

"We believe the officials got it wrong, plain and simple," Pascoe said.

"That decision has cost us victory and we want answers.

"Our players worked their backsides off all night to celebrate Jimmy's 300th game, and they are to be applauded for their efforts.

"I know officials also work hard to get it right, but this in our opinion was just so wrong."

Stand-in Tigers coach Ben Gardiner questioned why the Cowboys were allowed to challenge.

“It was a moment of elation and a moment of deflation,” he said in his press conference.

"I felt I wasn’t quite sure on why the decision was made. 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, pictured here after kicking the winning penalty goal for the Cowboys against the Tigers.
Valentine Holmes celebrates after kicking the winning penalty goal for the Cowboys against the Tigers. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

“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.”

Townsend later said he thought he'd followed the correct protocols in asking for the challenge.

"I saw the escort, went over to the ref straight away, I saw the challenge and I think the touchy looked over and gave the ref a nod and saw the same thing as I saw," Townsend said.

"He asked me what I was challenging, I said the escort, Feldty was on the ground, I thought he (Kepaoa) changed his line.

"Over the course of the season, sometimes you get them (decisions) and sometimes you don't. And tonight, we got one."

Cowboys coach Todd Payton expressed similar sentiments.

“If I look back at the season gone so far, we had a try taken off us last week which was huge. Even back in round one, Hamiso [Tabuai-Fidow] got a try taken off him with a couple of minutes to go which cost us a game,” he said.

“What goes around comes around, we got one tonight. We got a call at the end.”

“Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t. Tonight we got one.”

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting