NRL boss Peter V'landys is on board to review if the bunker should have the power to rule on forward passes or not after the Warriors were dudded with a referee howler on Saturday night. The Broncos were by far the better team as they dismantled the Warriors 42-12 at Suncorp Stadium in the preliminary final.
However, the match was marred after Walsh got away with throwing a blatant forward pass to Selwyn Cobbo, which also saw the winger then throw a potential forward pass back on the inside to Jordan Riki.
“Walsh has thrown it forward a mile, it’s gone forward more than a mile and Brisbane have run away and scored,” Fox Sports commentator Andrew Voss said. The NRL world was left gobsmacked the referee and touchline referee didn't pick up the ball floating forward as the try was awarded.
The bunker is unable to rule on a forward pass and Michael Ennis believes the touchline referee might have been behind Walsh due to his speed in breaking the line. And NRL boss V'landys is reportedly on board for a review to decide if the bunker should have the power to intervene in the future if a forward pass is clear cut in the build-up to the try.
"As the chairman has said, this issue will form part of the review conducted at the end of the season across all stakeholders," NRL head of football Graham Annesley said.
Walsh's pass, while in the preliminary final, wasn't the only controversial one of the year. Blues fans were left absolutely seething during Game II in State of Origin when Murray Taulagi crossed for the second try of the night after what appeared to be an obvious forward pass from David Fifita.
There were calls at the time for the bunker to be introduced to stop obvious errors when it comes to forward passes. Fans were still seething over the Walsh pass with calls growing for the bunker to be given more power, like in rugby union.
Actually a disgrace. Why are touchies even out there if they can't call something like that. It's not acceptable https://t.co/VxXJnJtGM4
— Matt Buxton (@mattbuxton22) September 23, 2023
Andrew Webster's classy reply to Reece Walsh incident
While fans were left mocking the situation, Warriors coach Andrew Webster was all class in his post-match press conference. When asked about the forward pass and whether it decided the contest, Webster was adamant.
“No, certainly not,” he added. “The forward pass was so wrong it wasn’t funny. But at the end of the day, they made a linebreak, they made a linebreak, we allowed the linebreak, and the forward pass comes off the back of that.
“We weren’t defending well during that period. The forward pass was so wrong, but we’re not crying over that. It certainly didn’t cost us the game.”
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