The NRL is set to review a controversial eighth tackle try by the Newcastle Knights in their crucial 29-10 win over South Sydney on Sunday. The Knights took a giant step towards sewing up a spot in the finals with an impressive win over the Bunnies, who could lose Latrell Mitchell to suspension after the star fullback was placed on report and charged for elbowing Tyson Frizell in the head when attempting a tackle.
The loss merely compounded the woes for South Sydney, who were less than impressed by Newcastle's third try of the match, which appeared to be scored on the eighth tackle of a seven-tackle set. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the Rabbitohs have demanded the NRL offer a 'please explain' after prop Daniel Saifiti profited from an extra tackle for the home side.
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The incident happened when the score was 12-4 to Newcastle and the home side was awarded a seven-tackle set from a Rabbitohs kick that went over the dead ball line. The Knights seemingly had their seven tackles without referee Grant Atkins ever signalling 'last tackle' so hooker Phoenix Crossland capitalised off the next play by kicking for Saifiti to score untouched.
Replays pointed to an apparent failure in the tackle counter as the fifth play of the set was never registered. A frustrated South Sydney CEO Blake Solly said his side wanted answers from NRL powerbrokers about such an error could occur, particularly when finals spots are up for grabs and seasons are on the line for many teams.
“Make no mistake, the best team on the day won,” Solly said. “The Knights deserved the two points, they were better and I don’t think this altered the result.
“I would hate to do anything that takes credit away from the Knights and they way they performed. Having said that, we are going into the most important part of the season, and it’s imperative the game gets these calls right.”
Latrell Mitchell in hot water after Tyson Frizell shot
The Rabbitohs could face a double blow, with Mitchell now set to miss his side's do-or-die final game of the regular season against fierce rivals, the Roosters unless he successfully appeals a one-game ban for the shot on Frizell that saw him sent to the sin bin. With a bye in round 26, the Bunnies will likely have to beat the Roosters in round 27 or risk missing out on finishing in the top eight.
The Rabbitohs' loss to the Knights on Sunday has left the door open for North Queensland (28 points) and the Roosters (28) to leapfrog them over the final two rounds of the home-and-away season. Canberra's 36-24 win against Canterbury on Sunday didn't help Souths, who pick up two points for next week's bye before ending their season with the grudge match against the Tri Colours.
The Roosters are favoured to beat Wests Tigers next weekend to set up the blockbuster after continuing their late-season charge with a 34-12 win over Parramatta (26). Ninth-placed North Queensland must beat the Dolphins and the Panthers to play finals football.
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