Gold Coast Titans, Young Tonumaipea ‘robbed’ of hat-trick against Manly Sea Eagles


Gold Coast Titans winger Young Tonumaipea was robbed of a stunning try during Saturday’s NRL match against the Manly Sea Eagles.

After 19 minutes, scores were tied 6-6 at Brookvale Oval when Titans playmaker Ashley Taylor booted a grubber towards the left wing.

Tonumaipea sprinted past the Manly defensive line to collect the ball, but fumbled as he dived over the tryline, assisted by a shove from opposition winger Albert Hopoate.

The decision was sent to the Bunker, and replays showed Tonumaipea bobbled the footy before catching it on his knee inches above the turf.

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Fox League commentator Dan Ginnane said: “He didn’t get a good bounce, and he still gets it down … brilliant!

“He’s kept his hands on that all the way.”

Balmain Tigers great Steve Roach replied: “He’s onside for sure; Tonumaipea collects the footy and somehow hangs onto it. That’s a great try.

“I think that’s sweet; good hands. He’s got control on the way down.”

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However, the try was disallowed after the Bunker official argued: “The ball comes loose, he fails to regrip the ball prior to the ball contacting the ground.”

Titans coach Justin Holbrook was visibly disgusted by the contentious decision as a splutter of boos rung around Brookvale Oval.

Sports journalist Roy Ward tweeted: “I’m not one to get too grumpy with the bunker officials but whoever took that try off Young Tonumaipea should have had a balaclava on. Absolutely robbed him of a super try.”

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At halftime, former Queensland Maroons coach Mal Meninga told Fox League: “I thought he had control … the ball was in his hands, and as he hits the ground, I thought he had control.

Meanwhile, on-field referee Matt Hoyen left the field in the 14th minute with a suspected calf injury. AAP journalist Scott Bailey tweeted: “Two 3pm games in a row where the referee has gone down … No one will want to do Bulldogs-Panthers next week.”

Although Tonumaipea was denied early, the 28-year-old managed to snare two tries before the main interval. The Samoa representative embarrassed Manly’s defensive line, his blistering pace and fake passes enough to give the visitors a 22-12 lead at halftime.

Tonumaipea has never scored an NRL hat-trick, but has 40 minutes to achieve the rare feat.

Gold Coast will secure their fourth consecutive victory in the NRL is they topple the Sea Eagles.

Sports reporter Mark Gottlieb tweeted: “Gee this Titans team is fun to watch. A real joy after slogging through so many frustrating seasons lately. Shame they left their run too late for them to make the eight.”



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