NRL Nines 2020: Referees boss Graham Annesley 'very disappointed' after controversial call mars tournament

NRL head of football Graham Annesley admits the referees "got it wrong" after a shocking call saw the Penrith Panthers eliminated from the NRL Nines in Perth. 

The Panthers looked set to beat the St George Illawarra Dragons in their quarter-final before rookie winger Cody Ramsey collected a ball in the air and placed it down on the sideline in-goal on the full-time siren at HBF Stadium. 

With no NRL Bunker system in place referee, Ben Cummins consulted with his assistants before awarding the try, which saw the Dragons win 17-13. 

However, replays clearly showed Ramsey was in touch and nowhere near the try-line. 

The Dragons would go on to reach the final, before losing to the North Queensland Cowboys. 

"I'm very disappointed," Annesley told Fox Sports after the game.

"You only have to look at the replay to realise it wasn't a try. The officials got it wrong, and that's disappointing.

"There's three of them out there, and between the three of them, they've got to come up with the right decision. At the moment I haven't dissected it - Bernard Sutton the referees' coach will do that - but ultimately they got the decision wrong, they should have got it right.

"It does demonstrate why we have video referees in the premiership proper."

Graham Annesley.
Graham Annesley. Photo credit: AAP

Ramsay admitted it was disappointing how his side won the game, but it was out of his control. 

"I would've liked to have gotten it down in goal," Ramsey told Fox Sports. "But it is what it is.

"It's a bit disappointing. I thought I got it. But in the end, it's up to the refs."

The Panthers were favoured heading into the quarter-final and the loss saw them miss out on the $1m prize that comes with winning the Nines. 

Panthers' Nines captain Dean Whare called for the Bunker review system to be introduced for later stages of the tournament. 

"Just the business end I think. The game flows when there's no video ref but especially in those big moments when you're trying to make those finals and every point counts, it's something they should probably put on," he told

"It does [hurt].

"I think the other team knew it wasn't a try too. It's just unlucky for our fans not to see us go further.

"Everyone was in shock. I think the crowd was in even more shock than us.

"[We] can't change it now, and if the video referees were in it we'd probably be training for the next game after this."

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary said there was no point dwelling on the incident as it's just a pre-season tournament. 

"They were pretty filthy, obviously, straight after but it's a pre-season tournament.

"We'll forget about it now. There’s no point dwelling about it. 

"We just have to get back on the horse and we’ve got trials to look forward to now."

While the Panthers lost in the last eight, the Dragons ended the tournament with the biggest casualty ward, losing key players Cameron McInnes, Matt Dufty and Korbin Sims.

Dufty and Sims are expected to miss the early rounds of the NRL season, with the status of McInnes unknown.