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18 Nov 2017 17:42
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Archer defends Dragons' NRL no-try calls

    Referees boss Tony Archer says the bunker was right to deny St George Illawarra two crucial first-half tries in their NRL loss to Newcastle.

    - article from

    Referees boss Tony Archer insists his bunker got it right in denying St George Illawarra two tries in their NRL loss to Newcastle, as Dragons coach Paul McGregor faces a hefty fine for slamming officials over the calls.

    McGregor was livid after the 21-14 loss, labelling head referee Gavin Badger and senior bunker official Ashley Klein as "embarrassing and incompetent" over two first-half no-try decisions on Saturday.

    The first coming after Jason Nightingale was ruled to have knocked on while contesting a high ball before Tim Lafai crossed.

    Nightingale insisted after the match the ball went backwards before on-field referees sent it up as a no-try.

    "After reviewing all the available angles, you can see that the ball comes off the left forearm of Jason Nightingale and then contacts the right hand of (Knights winger) Shaun Kenny-Dowall," Archer said.

    "This constitutes a knock on. As a result the decision of no try is the correct call."

    Moments later, Nene Macdonald ran 95 metres to cross but had the four-pointer taken off him after the video referees found Tyson Frizell was ruled to have taken out Trent Hodkinson at the other end.

    "We can see following a kick from the Knights that Trent Hodkinson is held back by Tyson Frizell," Archer said.

    "This prevents his ability to participate in play. Subsequently the live decision of try was overturned because of this infringement. This is the correct decision."

    Archer's comments will be cold comfort to McGregor.

    Asked if they got the Lafai no-try wrong, McGregor said: "Definitely - I think that anyone who knows rugby league would agree because the ball went back on the Nightingale one and it should have been overruled and it wasn't and Hodkinson took a dive."

    Asked if the decisions were especially disappointing, given the bunker had time to deliberate on them, he said: "It is. When you spend millions of dollars, it is."

    The NRL can also expect a phone call from South Sydney coach Michael Maguire, following a firey Saturday night.

    The Raiders scored twice while Angus Crichton was sin-binned for a professional foul, as he scrambled in cover defence while Adam Reynolds lay injured on the ground with a possible concussion.

    "I'd like to ask why the game wasn't stopped when our halfback went down," Maguire said.


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