NRL admits referee bungled Broncos try

Pamela Whaley
The Broncos' Kotoni Staggs knocked on his third try against the Rabbitohs, the NRL says

The NRL admits the winning try scored by Brisbane centre Kotoni Staggs was incorrectly awarded on Friday night - a decision that may have cost South Sydney two competition points.

The Rabbitohs were trailing 16-12 when Staggs crossed under the posts and the try was awarded without consultation with the bunker, and Souths went on to lose 22-18.

On Monday, NRL head of football Graham Annesley revealed Staggs had knocked on while scoring his third try of the night.

Lead referee Grant Atkins was in full view of the try, which was awarded in the 58th minute, and at full speed it appeared to be a certain four-pointer.

However, a member of the NRL's football department picked up the blunder during the broadcast and it was confirmed in slow motion that Staggs had lost control of the ball.

The try was then converted by Jamayne Issako, giving the Broncos a 10-point lead until Alex Johnston scored for the Rabbitohs in the 73rd minute.

"The referee in this case didn't go to the bunker, and felt he had a good view of it and you can see why he came to that opinion," Annesley said.

"But when you go frame by frame, unfortunately these days this is what we have to do because games get analysed to this level, there's separation there and that should not have been a try.

"We put our hand up on that one, it's not an easy one to pick up. It didn't go to the bunker, there's no captain's challenge. But that's a classic example of if there was doubt in the mind of the defenders they could have challenged that."