An early controversy rocked Queensland Country Bank Stadium when the Eels went ahead with what appeared to be a forward pass in their preliminary round against the Cowboys.
A chorus of boos rang out after Parramatta center Will Penisini scored the opening try in Friday night’s clash.
Home fans were clearly convinced that a suspicious pass from Mitchell Moses early in the game had been overlooked.
“The crowd doesn’t like it,” said Paul Vautin on the cover of Nine.
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The forward pass was missed by both the referee and the linesman, and the Bunker cannot rule on the forward passes.
“Call the cops,” Vautin said.
“It moved forward six yards in that pass.”
“We could see that ball traveled about a yard and a half forward, but we can’t judge that after the fact,” added Storm great Cameron Smith.
Speaking after the Eels beat the Cowboys 24-20 to book a place in next week’s Grand Final, Smith addressed the fallout from the controversial call.
“Mitchell Moses was under pressure and he felt like he had to get the ball away. When he turned, I think he came out in a forward motion,” he said.
“The Cowboys, thank them for not focusing on that missed call.
“You can focus on that point and say that was the difference, but at the same time the Cowboys had a lot of scoring opportunities and made a few mistakes after the missed call.
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“I don’t think players and coaches will look back and say that’s why they lost. They will talk about having chances to win the game, but the opposition was better.”
Although Smith agreed the Cowboys had every right to be upset with the appeal, he said the decision did not define the outcome of the game.
“You want the officials to respond properly to calls, but they’re human, like the players,” he said.
“There were a few errors on the pitch tonight and one of them was missed and you look at it in isolation and wonder how it happened but it was missed. She was allowed to The bunker cannot rule on forward passes after the It was a try.
“The Cowboys, unfortunately, weren’t good enough tonight. If you look at it as an isolated incident, you might think if they scored the try, scored the goal, went up by six, lost by four and that’s it. is the reason, but I don’t think so.”
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