The NRL has been urged to change the rules so the Bunker can rule on forward passes in the wake of Cronulla’s controversial win against the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium.
In a dramatic finish between two top-eight teams, Edrick Lee crossed in the left corner in the 78th minute to hand new signing Aaron Woods a win in his first Sharks appearance.
It capped a disastrous night for the Warriors, who lost forwards Bunty Afoa and Tohu Harris to what appeared to be serious injuries.
But the biggest disappointment for the New Zealand side was the manner in which they lost, with players and fans furious over what appeared to be a blatant forward pass from Ricky Leutele.
Replays showed the ball clearly traveled forward into Lee’s hands before the winger crossed-over for the match-winning try.
With video reviews unable to rule on forward passes, the Warriors were consigned to the brutal defeat – leaving the players shattered and fans fuming on social media.
Surely it's time we use the Bunker for forward pass ruling? How can a touch judge or referee be able to make call on forward pass after just ONE viewing, but Bunker not able to rule after TEN replays, and super slow mo. #NRLWarriorsSharks @NZWarriors @Cronulla_Sharks
— Chris Warren (@ChrisWarreNRL) June 29, 2018
forward pass. Another nrl game ruined by poor refing. Where is the accountability? #NRLWarriorsSharks
— Ali Ikram (@AliIkram) June 29, 2018
Ffs.. So both teams played great but the Warriors have their win taken away cos both the Ref AND Touch Judge missed an easy forward pass 🤦🏼♂️#NRLWarriorsSharks
— Lincoln Lewis (@linc_lewis) June 29, 2018
Last round @Cronulla_Sharks go down to @brisbanebroncos due to forward pass. Tonight forward pass gets them home against @NZWarriors . All things even out – or is it time to let bunker rule on forward passes?
— paul crawley (@telepaulcrawley) June 29, 2018
The home side appeared to have an 11th victory in their grasp when Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson landed a field goal to put his team in front off the back of a glaring Lee handling error.
Issac Luke crossed for what seemed a match-winning try soon afterwards but it was disallowed for offside, handing Cronulla a late chance.
They took it through Lee’s second try to notch a 10th win for the season, the same number as the Warriors, who have played one less game.