The NRL’s head of football, Graham Annesley, has admitted that the Bunker made an incorrect judgement in not penalising the Gold Coast’s Chris Randall for a hip-drop tackle on Jai Arrow that will force him to miss the remainder of the State of Origin series.
Randall has received a grade two dangerous contact charge and a one game ban, while Arrow could be out for 6-8 weeks following surgery for a syndesmosis injury.
Annesley admits that the Bunker should have relayed the seriousness of the injury to match officials and taken action in the incident. However, Annesley claims that the Bunker was correct in not penalising Euan Aitken for the hip-drop.
Annesley also backed the Bunker’s decision to support a live ruling of a no try when Tyson Frizell was held up, and he had no problems with Api Koroisau’s try. However, he criticised a couple of calls made during the weekend, starting with the Raiders being awarded a try that should not have been given because of a push by Emre Guler on Luke Brooks.
Fogarty’s try, which proved crucial for Canberra to win, resulted from the push, and Annesley considers it to be an illegal action. He has also expressed his disappointment about the Dragons’ game in which the NRL confirmed referee Chris Sutton’s mistake in ruling a knock on against Mathew Feagai when it was a backward ball. Sutton initially called play on but was overruled by a touch judge, and Annesley claims that this was a clear error.