Wests Tigers are seeking explanations from the NRL following a crucial try scored by Canberra, in which Luke Brooks was allegedly shoved in the back without receiving a penalty. The Tigers are highlighting a similar incident in round nine where they were awarded a penalty after Starford To’a was knocked down by Tyrone Peachey while trying to score. During the match, Canberra’s Jamal Fogarty kicked a grubber, and Brooks was thrown over by Emre Guler as he tried to chase the ball. Referee Gerard Sutton awarded the try, while Tigers players argued with Brooks’ treatment.
Tigers’ coach Tim Sheens addressed the incident in the 49th minute, when the Tigers trailed 12-0. However, the Raiders eventually won 20-19, with Isaiah Papali’i getting penalised late in the match, which the Raiders used to kick a penalty goal and win. Sheens expressed that Brooksy’s shove was an unjustified call, adding that a penalty should have been awarded as he pursued the ball. According to Sheens, Brooksy was running towards the ball, and with the effect of the goal-post pads, the ball bounced back towards him, leading to his fall.
Tigers players remain confused about what message it sends in such cases, as officials raise concerns regarding permitting players to shove opponents in the back, without receiving any penalty, as long as they are trying to score. NRL head of elite competitions Graham Annesley is yet to make a statement on the incident as he’s reviewing the Bunker audio.
There is an additional concern of attendance for the Raiders‘ next game, in which they’re anticipating a full house for Jarrod Croker‘s 300th game. The Brumbies will also be in action in the Super Rugby finals the subsequent day against the Hurricanes, and the Raiders are anticipating this might affect their final attendance. Meanwhile, Papali’i has been slapped with a dangerous contact charge for charging into Fogarty’s legs but can escape with a $1800 fine if he makes an early plea. Zac Woolford has been charged with lifting former Raider John Bateman into a risky position, but he can also evade penalties by accepting a $2500 fine.