Fresh Fulham penalty woe boosts Everton


Aided by another embarrassing missed penalty from Fulham, Everton ended their three-match losing streak in the Premier League with a 3-2 win at Craven Cottage.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored twice for the visitors to continue his brilliant start to the season.

Later in England’s top-flight, West Ham moved into the top half of the table thanks to a 1-0 win at bottom side Sheffield United.

Two weeks after Ademola Lookman had failed with a desperately poor scuffed injury-time ‘Panenka’ penalty at West Ham, Ivan Cavaleiro took over spot-kick duties for Fulham but slipped as he attempted his shot, kicked the ball against his standing foot and saw it loop over the crossbar.

Everton were leading 3-1 at the time and, although Fulham set up a tense finale with a second goal in the 70th minute by Ruben Loftus-Cheek, the visitors held on to return to winning ways after losses to Southampton, Newcastle and Manchester United.

Calvert-Lewin has now scored 10 goals this season – the most in the league – after striking 42 seconds in and again in the 29th minute following an equaliser by Bobby De Cordova-Reid.

Abdoulaye Doucoure headed in a cross from Lucas Digne for his first goal for Everton to put the team 3-1 ahead in the 35th.

Everton started the season with four straight wins but hadn’t won any of their previous four games.

“The most important part of the game was to be back to winning,” Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti said.

“We lost energy in the second half, the players were tired, I changed to put more fresh legs on the pitch but we lost a bit of quality and we had to defend as a result but in the end it went well.”

West Ham are eighth after Sebastien Haller fired a superb strike for the only goal of the game, in the 56th minute to secure victory over the Blades.

Chris Wilder’s side remain bottom with just one point from nine matches, having scored just four goals.



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Slaven Bilic bemoans penalty decisions in Manchester United defeat – ‘I felt like small West Brom’


W

est Brom boss Slaven Bilic bemoaned the refereeing decisions which cost his side a point against Manchester United at Old Trafford, suggesting they made the Baggies feel like a “small” club.  

Bilic’s newly-promoted put in a terrific display but ultimately left Manchester empty-handed after a 1-0 defeat as key penalty decisions went against them in each box.  

Referee David Coote had awarded the Baggies a second-half spot-kick and a chance to take the lead after Bruno Fernandes brought down Conor Gallagher, but overturned his decision after consulting the pitchside monitor, adjudging that the Portuguese had got a touch on the ball before felling his opponent.  

“I’m very disappointed with the decision,” Bilic told BT Sport. “I felt like ‘small West Brom’.  

“All those crucial decisions went against us. I’ve watched it a few times and it’s a clear penalty. I don’t understand why he overturned it.”

Bilic’s misery was compounded less than ten minutes later when United were given a penalty at the other end for a handball against Darnell Furlong.  

Goalkeeper Sam Johnstone brilliantly saved Fernandes’ effort, only to be penalised for coming off his line, and the Portuguese converted at the second attempt.  

“It’s a handball,” Bilic conceded. “It’s a bit unlucky but it’s handball. Before that it was a clear foul on Conor Gallagher. Instead of 1-0 for us, it’s 1-0 for them. When you play against Manchester United away it’s a huge difference.”

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Ex-Melbourne Storm directors in fresh appeal of salary cap penalty


“Schubert talked of the whistleblowers (obviously more than one [he was] insinuating that there was one still working at the club),” Moodie wrote in the notes, seen by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. “After about 45 minutes we were asked to leave. At this stage Gallop mentioned that they were considering penalties – that might include the loss of premierships and the ability to compete in 2010.”

Thirty minutes later, after being shuffled into another room where the Storm trio and Philip discussed the potential size of the 2010 breaches, Gallop returned to announce to them the extraordinary sanctions: the stripping of the 2007 and 2009 premierships, three minor premierships, a $500,000 fine, the return of $1.1 million in prizemoney and a stipulation the Storm compete for the rest of the 2010 season for no competition points.

Cameron Smith launches his book in Brisbane this week.Credit:Getty

“We were absolutely stunned,” Moodie wrote.

A decade on, Moodie and former Storm director Peter Maher have revealed plans to lodge a submission with the current NRL administration to have the handling of the affair and the penalties meted out re-examined, armed with legal advice that the NRL did not adhere to its own rules in imposing them.

It comes after a week in which long-time Storm captain Cameron Smith took aim at Gallop, saying Melbourne players “were hung out to dry by the boss of the game” after the club was found to have overspent by $1.7m over five seasons.

Gallop, who declined to comment on Friday, replied by penning a News Corp column in which he branded Smith “plain wrong” and suggested he target his scorn at former Storm officials behind the rorting. He said the Melbourne officials knew the game was up and Moodie had asked on the day to “get it over and done with”.

News Ltd chairman John Hartigan, NRL chief executive David Gallop and Storm chairman Rob Moodie announce the Melbourne sanctions on April 22, 2010.

News Ltd chairman John Hartigan, NRL chief executive David Gallop and Storm chairman Rob Moodie announce the Melbourne sanctions on April 22, 2010.Credit:Dallas Kilponen

Moodie and Maher do not deny the club cheated the cap but argue the weight of the penalty was way out of alignment with later scandals at Parramatta and Cronulla. They also believe the NRL did not properly follow its sanctioning process on that April afternoon 10 years ago.

They had flown to Sydney the day after Hanson was sent a letter from Schubert in which he told the CEO of his discovery of the so-called second set of books. In the letter, Schubert said Hanson’s personal assistant had overheard his request for letters of offer for players on a recent visit to the club “and asked if I meant the folder in the cupboard behind the desk”. Schubert detailed that the next step in his probe included “a full-scale audit of the club’s financial records”, interviews with players and their tax records and asked that club officials front up at the NRL “to make a full and frank disclosure” six days later on April 27.

“We were going up to have a meeting to discuss this and all of a sudden the penalties were handed out. The press release was already done before we got there,” Moodie said on Friday. “We went up for shoplifting and we got done for murder.”

Moodie and Maher say they were advised that day by Philip, who could not be reached on Friday, that there was no avenue of appeal. After a heated phone hook-up with other directors, they begrudgingly accepted the punishment.

‘Considerable pressure appears to have been placed upon you to accede to the requests of the NRL.’

David Grace, QC

“We thought because of News’ ownership of the Storm, [Philip] would be representing our interests. He blatantly wasn’t,” Moodie said. “He kept indicating there was no other alternative. We were never made aware of the fact that there is a process that should be followed.”

After the league world was told at a hastily arranged 4pm press conference, Gallop wrote to Moodie the following day, telling him that by accepting the penalty the club had “waived the requirement to proceed by way of breach notice, etc”.

But in correspondence provided to the Herald and The Age, leading silk David Grace, QC, told Moodie in 2018 that “the NRL did not follow the procedure required by its own rules”. The allegations should have been contained in a breach notice, he said, and the Storm given five days to provide written submissions.

“Considerable pressure appears to have been placed upon you to accede to the requests of the NRL in relation to findings, penalties and sanctions,” wrote Grace, who represented Essendon players in the ASADA scandal.

Maher also consulted Sydney sports lawyer Darren Kane, now a Herald columnist, in 2014, with Kane assessing “it is staggering that the whole breach notice /charging/sanctioning period was truncated by the NRL into an afternoon’s work. It is plain that the NRL did not follow its own rules.”

Kane wrote to Maher he did not believe the same process would have been followed with any of the other 15 clubs.

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The severity of the Storm sanctions was analysed by former NRL chief operating officer Nick Weeks in 2016 but it was decided to let them stand.

The former directors, who say they have the support of Storm co-owner Gerry Ryan and have been concerned by the impact on players’ health and wellbeing over the years, want the process to be scrutinised now and hope to push for it with Melbourne’s endorsement.

“Now it’s the completion of the season we’re going to put forward a submission,” Maher said.

“I would rather we all sat down with the NRL and the NRL said ‘listen, you’re right, due process was not adhered to. Let’s go away and have a proper hearing and let’s determine what the penalty should be’. If that’s the case we’ll accept whatever comes.”

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Rule changes, interchange, kick-in 15m, lateral move on mark, 50m penalty, holding the ball, Mason Cox


The AFL have revealed three new rules for the 2021 season, as well as a rule that will be tested in the VFL and East Coast Competition, but some fans have already hit back at the changes.

The new rules are that there will be a max interchange cap of 75 players, down from 90 per match, players returning the ball from a behind will be given 15m instead of 10 and defensive players will be penalised for moving laterally on the mark, outside a 1m “level of tolerance”. This means that the defending player will only get minimal lateral movement on the mark and if the defender moves off the mark in any direction before “play on” is called, they will give away a 50m penalty.

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Another rule will be introduced to the VFL and East Coast competition will see three players from each team stationed inside 50, including a pair in the goalsquare, at all kick-ins, boundary throw-ins and ball-ups. The umpire will need to wait until all players are in position. The penalty for not complying is a 50m penalty.

AFL.com.au reported that this rule would be monitored with an aim to introduce it to for the 2022 AFL season.

The AFL has yet to reveal the length of next season as well as the quarter lengths, which is expected to revert back to 20 minute quarters plus time on.

AFL football operations boss Steve Hocking revealed the changes with the aim of introducing more fatigue and move openness in the game after defence continued to dominate.

“The main reason (for the 75 interchange cap) is to try and open up congestion around the ground,” Hocking said. “There are a lot of high pressure game styles which have kicked in, the pressure factors have increased, and have been on the increase for five years now, so our belief is we need to put a little bit of fatigue back into the system, and to recalibrate that part of the game and hopefully have the result of opening up the game.”

On the ban on lateral movement by defensive players on the mark, Hocking added: “We think that will open up the game, it will open up the 45 (degree angle) pass option, which is the best real estate.

“We just want more time and space back in the game, the fans are looking for a better balance between defence and attack, and the game has definitely swayed towards defence.

“My role in that as custodian of it is to make sure the right things are introduced to open the game back up, and to have more Dustin Martin moments that he did in the Grand Final, where he was able to find space, and we would like to create more of those – that‘s my role and I’m committed to finding that space.”

But social media was quick to react with Collingwood forward Mason Cox leading the charge.

“Any chance we could keep the rules the same for once? It’s been hard enough learning it from scratch much less it changing every year. Being an umpire would be a nightmare. Every year there are more changes to AFL than any other sport in the world I feel like,” he tweeted.

It easy to understand the frustration with plenty of talk about the mid-year moves that saw the holding the ball interpretation become one of the hot button issues of the season.

ABC radio host Andrew Hogan tweeted: “This is seriously the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Dustin Martin has ‘Dustin Martin moments’ because he is (and get ready cos this is wild) literally Dustin Martin…”

Former Hawks and Lions player Jordan Lisle also took aim while frustrated by all four of the new rules that are coming in.





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Were NSW Blues robbed a penalty try to Josh Addo-Carr that would’ve taken decider to extra time?


At the end of the game, with NSW challenging a decision after the siren, Addo-Carr approached the referee to voice his frustration.

“That should have been a try mate,” Addo-Carr said. “That should’ve been a try.”

Would he have scored it? Yes. But it wasn’t a penalty try.

Brad Fittler

Fittler said he didn’t think video official Steve Chiddy should have awarded a penalty try.

“Would he have scored it? Yes,” Fittler said. “But it wasn’t a penalty try. Him [Corey Allan] getting sin binned I thought was the best they could get out of it. I’d like to back Fox against anyone in that situation.”

Channel Nine commentator and former Blues coach Phil Gould agreed with the NSW winger during the call, finding it hard to believe that Addo-Carr wouldn’t have beaten Cameron Munster to the ball if Allan hadn’t impeded his run.

“He’d have got there,” Gould said in commentary. “He’s the fastest man on the planet. They weren’t going to catch him. He was well in front of them. They were not going to catch him to the ball.”

Josh Addo-Carr believes he would have scored a try if not for Corey Allan’s intervention.Credit:Getty

The incident came with NSW behind 20-14 with three minutes remaining on the clock. It was part of a mixed night for South Sydney flyer Allan, who set up Valentine Holmes’ first try and should have had another when the Cowboys ace spilled a simple ball late in the second half.

Allan was also guilty of a case of butter fingers early in his Origin debut when he dropped a simple Nathan Cleary bomb inside his own in-goal area, allowing NSW captain James Tedesco to pounce at the feet of a dithering Daly Cherry-Evans.

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Tedesco left the match shortly after when he was concussed after an accidental knee from Josh Papalii. After the game, Munster couldn’t hide his relief.

“It wasn’t obviously ideal with us last week. They were just a better team on the night,” Munster said on Channel Nine. “To come back here to the decider and there’s no better feeling. So thank you, Queensland.

“Full credit to our big boys, they played outstanding this week. Weren’t ideal last week but they stepped up at the biggest moment, and how good’s this crowd? There’s no better feeling putting the Maroon on. You talk to the older blokes. It’s the pinnacle of rugby league.

“Like I said, pinnacle of rugby league, and just so grateful to be playing with such great players. I’m lost for words, guys. First series win without the big boys, and, yeah, the boys done a really great job. Wayne, Mal, the coaching staff, got us up tonight. Let’s celebrate.”

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Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool: Kevin de Bruyne misses penalty for hosts in draw


Kevin de Bruyne had scored his past five penalties for Manchester City, since missing against Everton in October 2016

Liverpool’s hopes of returning to the Premier League summit were frustrated as they fought out a high-quality draw at Manchester City, who paid a heavy price for Kevin de Bruyne’s missed penalty.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp opted for an all-out attacking line-up at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, with in-form Diogo Jota included alongside the established front three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

Liverpool, who knew victory would see them leapfrog Leicester City and Tottenham, reaped an early reward when Salah put them ahead from the spot in the 13th minute after Kyle Walker brought down Mane – but City levelled just after the half-hour when Gabriel Jesus turned superbly before slotting past Alisson.

Pep Guardiola’s side wasted a golden chance to go ahead before half-time when De Bruyne rolled his penalty wide after handball had been awarded against Joe Gomez following a lengthy video assistant referee (VAR) deliberation.

Both sides pushed for the winner but it was City who grew stronger as the game went on, Jesus sending a glorious headed chance wide to leave both sides having to settle for a point.

Liverpool will be happier with a point

Klopp did not come to the Etihad to hide behind the door – Liverpool’s attacking formation that had City on the ropes for the first 20 minutes was proof of that.

In the end, however, you suspect he will be happier with a point than Guardiola as the Reds clearly ran out of steam in a second half when the home side looked far more likely to snatch the winner.

This is a Liverpool team already missing Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara – and they also lost Trent Alexander-Arnold in the second half – but they still came to a formidable opponent and refused to be beaten.

Even on the back foot, the reigning champions carry an unmistakeable air of menace in the shape of those attackers – particularly Salah and Mane, who were always on the prowl.

Liverpool, uncharacteristically, grew sloppier in possession as the game went on, but they still managed to limit City’s opportunities.

Klopp will never be fully content with a point but he will surely still be satisfied because his team showed real defensive resilience, apart from that moment in the second period when Jesus slipped the shackled and headed Ferran Torres’ cross wide.

Liverpool are in third place in the Premier League, a point behind Leicester – and meet the Foxes at Anfield after the international break.

Man City will still be eyeing title

At first glance, the sight of Manchester City in 11th place in the Premier League with 12 points from seven games might represent a disappointing return for a team that has set such high standards in recent years.

Yes, it could have been much better and Guardiola is likely to have been disappointed not to fashion victory against a Liverpool side most will regard as their closest challengers.

In reality, though, City and Guardiola can look at the bigger picture and believe they are right in what is shaping up as the most open title race for years.

A clutch of clubs will fancy this could be their year and City are only five points behind Liverpool, and six behind leaders Leicester, with a game in hand.

Guardiola’s new central defensive partnership of Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias is settling, and he will no doubt hope forward Sergio Aguero can finally shake off the injury problems that have dogged him in recent months.

This is shaping up as a topsy-turvy title race – and Manchester City have every right to feel they will be right in it.

‘Five subs are key’ – what they said

Manchester City boss Guardiola speaking to BBC Match of the Day: “It was a tight game. We struggled in the first minutes because they had four players up front. Mane and Salah were playing between the lines, then we adjusted after and had more control.

“The way they played and the way we behaved in response was incredible. I’m so proud of my players. The difference today was they got a penalty and we missed a penalty.”

What he said to Liverpool counterpart Klopp after the final whistle: “We talked about five substitutions. If people want to give microphones so we can give our opinions…

“English player, right-back is injured. There are many guys with many, many cases. Around the world, five subs are key, but here it’s totally the opposite. We’ve talked about this many times.”

Klopp, speaking to BBC Match of the Day: “It was an interesting game – a lot of tactical stuff on the pitch. Both teams played with an incredible energy level to close the other team down and use the few opportunities. I thought it was a top, top, top game.

“The plan is always to start fast, stay fast and finish fast – but that is not always possible. City are a top team.

“I think it is the game with the lowest number of chances for City so far when we have played them – clear-cut chances. They didn’t have many and that is a proper compliment for the boys.”

Walker paying the penalty – the best stats

  • Manchester City have drawn three of their past five games in the Premier League, as many as their previous 70 matches in the competition.
  • Liverpool have only won three of their past 10 away games in the league, after winning 16 of their previous 17.
  • After a run of 35 consecutive Premier League wins when scoring first between February 2019 and July 2020, the Reds have now failed to win four of their past seven such games.
  • Salah has scored eight league goals for Liverpool this season. No Reds player has ever scored more in the first eight matches of a campaign in the competition (level with Fernando Torres in 2009-10 and Robbie Fowler in 1995-96).
  • City defender Walker has conceded two penalties in the league this season, as many as he had in the previous 11 campaigns combined.
  • Jesus’ equaliser featured the most passes (19) in the build-up to a Premier League goal against Liverpool since September 2017 – also a goal by since at the Etihad.
  • De Bruyne has been directly involved in six goals in eight Premier League games against Klopp’s Liverpool (one goal and five assists). Only Leicester’s Jamie Vardy (seven) has had a hand in more against Liverpool in the competition since the German took charge.
  • De Bruyne’s penalty was the first to miss the target in a Premier League game since October 2018 – when Riyad Mahrez smashed the ball over the bar in the reverse fixture at Anfield.

What’s next?

After the international break, Manchester City travel to north London to face Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday, 21 November (17:30 GMT).

Liverpool host Leicester on the same day at 15:00.

Player of the match

ManéSadio Mané

Line-ups

Man City

  • 31Ederson
  • 2WalkerBooked at 90mins
  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 14LaporteBooked at 79mins
  • 27Cancelo
  • 16Rodri
  • 8Gündogan
  • 21TorresSubstituted forBernardo Silvaat 61′minutes
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 7SterlingBooked at 61mins
  • 9Gabriel Jesus

Substitutes

  • 5Stones
  • 6Aké
  • 11Zinchenko
  • 13Steffen
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 47Foden
  • 50García

Liverpool

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-ArnoldSubstituted forMilnerat 63′minutes
  • 32MatipBooked at 46mins
  • 12Gomez
  • 26Robertson
  • 14Henderson
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 20Jota
  • 9FirminoSubstituted forShaqiriat 59′minutes
  • 10Mané
  • 11Salah

Substitutes

  • 7Milner
  • 8Keita
  • 13Adrián
  • 17Jones
  • 23Shaqiri
  • 27Origi
  • 47Phillips

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NSW robbed in Queensland win, Channel 9 unseen footage, referee, siren, whistle, penalty


The grey area surrounding NSW’s claims of a robbery in game one of the State of Origin series has been removed.

The Blues objected immediately to referee Gerard Sutton after Queensland’s 18-14 win in Adelaide on Wednesday night for failing to penalise the Maroons for laying all over James Tedesco and then blowing the full-time whistle after they believed the star fullback had played the ball.

Now they have emphatic proof the officiating blunder denied them a game-tying try.

Unseen footage from Channel 9 obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald shows Tedesco – after extricating himself from a pile of five Queenslanders who incredibly escaped a penalty – clearing the ruck before Sutton’s whistle is blown.

Most of the focus post-match was around Sutton ending the game before time had reached 80 minutes – a decision which was explained away as being a result of the official clock being a couple of seconds ahead of the time Nine was displaying.

But the new vision suggests he should have held his whistle.

Despite NRL Head of Football Graham Annesley’s claims “time had expired before the ball is played”, it appears to be behind Tedesco at the hands of Boyd Cordner when Sutton ends the game.

Adding to the frustration is a wider shot of the field which wasn’t shown during the broadcast but highlights a massive overload on the Blues’ right flank.

Because of the pack of Maroons that had dived on Tedesco, the Queensland defence was badly exposed.

Angus Crichton, Clint Gutherson and Josh Addo-Carr were licking their lips as winger Phillip Sami stood as the only Maroons player to the right of the uprights.

Gutherson and Addo-Carr had already combined for two tries in the game and the likelihood of the Queensland defence – down to 11 men after Felise Kaufusi’s send off for cynical play – scrambling well enough to prevent them from scoring appears incredibly unlikely.

The Herald revealed NSW Rugby League wrote to the NRL demanding an explanation on Thursday morning but Annesley was steadfast in his position Sutton had acted correctly.

“The way time is kept in all games for several years now is the timekeeper has a direct audio link to the referee’s earpiece,” Annesley said.

“With 10 seconds to go the timekeeper gives the referee a 10 second warning. At five seconds another warning then verbally counts down until full time. The whistle from Sutton wasn’t blown prior to the timekeeper audibly saying to him full time.”

Whether it was blown before Tedesco’s played the ball – and whether NSW would have scored if allowed one more possession – is another question entirely.



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Origin 2020: NSW robbed in Queensland win, Channel 9 unseen footage, referee, siren, whistle, penalty


The grey area surrounding NSW’s claims of a robbery in game one of the State of Origin series has been removed.

The Blues objected immediately to referee Gerard Sutton after Queensland’s 18-14 win in Adelaide on Wednesday night for failing to penalise the Maroons for laying all over James Tedesco and then blowing the full-time whistle after they believed the star fullback had played the ball.

Now they have emphatic proof the officiating blunder denied them a game-tying try.

Unseen footage from Channel 9 obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald shows Tedesco – after extricating himself from a pile of five Queenslanders who incredibly escaped a penalty – clearing the ruck before Sutton’s whistle is blown.

Most of the focus post-match was around Sutton ending the game before time had reached 80 minutes – a decision which was explained away as being a result of the official clock being a couple of seconds ahead of the time Nine was displaying.

But the new vision suggests he should have held his whistle.

Despite NRL Head of Football Graham Annesley’s claims “time had expired before the ball is played”, it appears to be behind Tedesco at the hands of Boyd Cordner when Sutton ends the game.

media_cameraThe ball is already behind Tedesco as the whistle sounds.

Adding to the frustration is a wider shot of the field which wasn’t shown during the broadcast but highlights a massive overload on the Blues’ right flank.

Because of the pack of Maroons that had dived on Tedesco, the Queensland defence was badly exposed.

Angus Crichton, Clint Gutherson and Josh Addo-Carr were licking their lips as winger Phillip Sami stood as the only Maroons player to the right of the uprights.

Gutherson and Addo-Carr had already combined for two tries in the game and the likelihood of the Queensland defence – down to 11 men after Felise Kaufusi’s send off for cynical play – scrambling well enough to prevent them from scoring appears incredibly unlikely.

Queensland's defence was badly exposed.
media_cameraQueensland’s defence was badly exposed.

The Herald revealed NSW Rugby League wrote to the NRL demanding an explanation on Thursday morning but Annesley was steadfast in his position Sutton had acted correctly.

“The way time is kept in all games for several years now is the timekeeper has a direct audio link to the referee’s earpiece,” Annesley said.

“With 10 seconds to go the timekeeper gives the referee a 10 second warning. At five seconds another warning then verbally counts down until full time. The whistle from Sutton wasn’t blown prior to the timekeeper audibly saying to him full time.”

Whether it was blown before Tedesco’s played the ball – and whether NSW would have scored if allowed one more possession – is another question entirely.

Originally published as Unseen footage shows NSW was robbed



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Penalty try, Panthers vs Storm, Justin Olam, referee, Stephen Crichton obstruction


The 2020 Grand Final saw a stunning start with a penalty try awarded just four minutes into the game as the Melbourne Storm drew first blood before going on to beat Penrith 26-20.

Getting the ball in good field position after a Panthers mistake, the Storm went wide.

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Winger Josh Addo-Carr was tackled but passed the ball back on the inside to his centre Justin Olam who dived for the corner — but referee Gerard Sutton sent the call up as a no try.

The bunker checked the sideline and then saw the ball dislodged by the knee of Panther Tyrone May, who kicked out with his leg in an effort to stop the try.

The more the bunker official Steve Chiddy looked at the play, the more the commentators on Channel 9 started to point to it being a potential penalty try.

It is illegal for a defender to kick the ball out of a rival’s grasp with their feet because it is deemed dangerous play.

The bunker sent it back as a penalty try — the first penalty try in a Grand Final since 2013

“Tyrone May has used the foot to kick the ball out of the possession of Justin Olam. In our opinion, we believe a try would have been scored,” Chiddy said.

The Panthers immediately protested with captain James Tamou told by Sutton “He can’t kick at it with a foot, mate. He believes he kicks at the ball.”

Gould called the decision “incredible”, clearly disagreeing with the call.

“I don’t know what Tyrone May could have done any differently there,” Gould said.

“It is not what I would call indiscriminate kicking but the referee ruled he’s played at the ball with his foot.

“That is a stunning start to this game. Stunning.”

But while social media was somewhat divided, the main sentiment was that it was a good call.

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The news went from bad to worse for Panthers, who went to hit straight back.

The Panthers were pushing hard towards the Storm line when it appeared Josh Mansour went over in the corner.

But it was called back when Stephen Crichton was called for an obstruction.

As the game went on, nothing appeared to be going the Panthers’ way with the Storm rolling on to a 22-0 lead at the break.



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