A stray elbow from Angus Crichton to the head of Josh Papalii prompted an insane ‘WWE’ style melee during the Grand Final rematch between the Canberra Raiders and the Sydney Roosters.
Fans were confused when a straight forward tackle ended up in disaster after Crichton landed a stray elbow to the face of Papalii.
BACK TO BUBBLES: NRL's reacts to Sydney virus chaos
The big Canberra Raiders forward reacted sparking an insane scuffle, which prompted commentator Warren Smith to label the scene: “worthy of WWE.”
But fans were absolutely stunned to find the Raiders copped the penalty for Papalii’s initial reaction to the stray elbow.
“Neither of these two usually get into this sort of stuff,” commentator Greg Alexander said on Fox Sports.
“It was the back-handed elbow from Angus Crichton. Josh does the uppercut from underneath and that set it alight,” NRL great Cooper Cronk added.
‘Jarrod Croker was shocked’: Smith
While Smith suggested Papalii needed to show more restraint, Alexander sided with Papalii in suggesting it would be very hard not to react after such a blow.
“You cop one right in the schnoz, an elbow. It’d be hard not to react,” he said.
“There wasn’t really anything untoward in that tackle by Papalii before Angus Crichton backhanded him.
“Jarrod Croker was shocked the penalty went against them.”
Fans agreed and were less than impressed with the Roosters receiving the penalty.
Josh Papali reacts to an elbow in the shnoz and gets penalised? #NRLRoostersRaiders— Anthony Field (@Anthony_Wiggle) July 16, 2020
Why is that a penalty? Both players had a crack it got physical and now I’m on the edge of my seat. That’s not a penalty.— Jamie Soward (@sowwowofficial6) July 16, 2020
Crichton definitely wouldn’t be throwing elbows at big papa 10 years ago!! Big man can throw em! Even though he didn’t mean it. #kickinthedoorwaveinthe44alltheysaywaspapadonthitmeknowmore @MasonsTake— Willie Mason WMM 💯🇦🇺🇹🇴 (@mase21) July 16, 2020
The referee called Crichton to be 'milking'. The he elbows Papali in the noes and Papali reacts. Yet the Roosters receive the penalty??? How? #NRLRoostersRaiders— Joey Dunlop (@JoeyDunlop9) July 16, 2020
How is that a Roosters penalty? If there was no guidance from the Bunker should the Raiders have considered a Captain’s Challenge to reverse the penalty? #NRLRoostersRaiders— NRL CONSPIRACIES 🤔👀🏉 (@NrlConspiracies) July 16, 2020
How can Crichton throw the elbow at Papalii and the @NRL officials given the Roosters the penalty?! Not one word said to Crichton whatsoever. Absolute joke. The NRL's golden side getting the decisions yet again. #NRL #NRLRoostersRaiders— CAPEL (@laurencecapel) July 16, 2020
Fortunately for the Raiders, they enjoyed the last laugh after an incredible 24-20 win over the reigning NRL champions.