The Sydney Roosters have opened up a 20-0 lead at halftime over the Wests Tigers but two controversial captain’s challenges have dominated the discussions of the first half.
The Roosters withstood a good start from the Tigers. But despite the huge injury toll when the Roosters get on a roll, they are almost unstoppable.
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Three tries in the opening 20 minutes set the defending champions on a path to victory but two captain’s challenges have continued to bring the rule under scrutiny.
The rule has been contentious at best this year in its first season in the rule book but more baffling bunker decisions have left fans and commentators stunned.
While they aren’t the first this season or this round, former NRL star Braith Anasta was left baffled by the decisions.
In the 22nd minute, the Roosters appealed a knock on from a chip over the top with it appearing as though Tigers fullback Adam Doueihi knocked it back into the hand of Joseph Manu
Fox League commentator Anasta said “Doueihi has definitely knocked it back”.
Doueihi and Manu both touched the ball but it’s hard to see how it was a double knock on.Source:FOX SPORTS
The commentators said it was Ashley Klein, who was in the box as the senior review official with video ref Ben Lowe, somehow coming up with the call of a double knock on, with the Roosters getting the ball back 10m out from their own line.
Anasta was stunned with Dan Ginnane adding “How can you argue that Doueihi lost that forward?”
“We’ve had some curious ones this weekend with captain’s challenges,” Ginnane added.
Anasta added: “I don’t know how they got that one.”
Bizarrely, it was just the tip of the iceberg.
The Rooster knocked on on the first tackle after the restart, but after the Tigers earned a penalty, a sloppy play led to another captain’s challenge just two minutes after the first.
An attempted run around from Benji Marshall saw the ball go to ground with the veteran racing to clean up before Manu made a tackle with the ball going to ground.
The Tigers’ Russell Packer picked up the ball with the referee ruling him off-side.
Joseph Manu hit the ball out of Benji Marshall’s hands but it was ruled in the act of making a tackle.Source:FOX SPORTS
Anasta immediately called for the Tigers to review and said Manu had knocked it back.
But the ruling came back “Joseph Manu is making a tackle, the ball is lost forward by Benji Marshall”.
Anasta was again stunned.
“Am … am ….am I watching the same game?” he said. “He directly knocks it out. I can’t believe that.
“Is that horribly unlucky or a bad call? It was clean knocked out of his hands.”
Anasta wasn’t the only one baffled by the decision.
Former Sri Lankan cricketer Russel Arnold took particularly pointed aim, tweeting: “Buls*** calls in favour of Roosters as usual
WHAT WAS THAT CALL? Ya kidding #NRLTigersRoosters
Let's check in with Tigers fans…#NRLTigersRoosters #NRL pic.twitter.com/OOvl5iwlrO
It’s not like it would have changed the game as the Tigers put in a limp performance in the first half.
The Tigers fans even sent a chorus of boos at halftime.
The Roosters soon scored again through Brett Morris, with he and his twin Josh combining for three between them.
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