NRL 2021: NZ Warriors incorrectly denied try in Knights loss, says NRL head of football

NZ Warriors were robbed of a try during their closely fought loss to Newcastle Knights, says NRL head of football Graham Annesley.

In the 10th minute of the round-two clash, Warriors hooker Wayde Egan darted over the line to score a try that was awarded by the onfield referee.

The bunker then intervened for a second look and overruled the decision, judging that Egan had lost control of the ball before grounding it, despite the hooker appearing to have kept both hands on the ball.

In his weekly briefing, Annesley admits the decision to reverse the try was incorrect.

"Maybe there is a bit of air between the fingers and the ball, but he's still got both palms wrapped around the ball when it hits the ground," Annesley says, while reviewing the footage.

Annesley notes that viewing the try at extreme slow motion exacerbates any perceived lack of control.

"If you look at it at full speed, I don't think that's enough to take a try off somebody," he admits.

"I think that - on review - that should have stood as a try, as it was originally awarded by the referee."

While prop Ben Murdoch-Masila crossed moments later to tie the scores at 6-6, the Warriors ultimately lost the game 20-16, courtesy of a try in the dying stages to Knights wing Hymel Hunt.

The reversal left commentators and players baffled.

"There was a no-try here that we all thought was a try," says analyst Greg Alexander. 

"Now it went upstairs to the bunker, who said he lost control of the ball. I'd argue that all day long.

"He did not lose control of that football, there's no way he lost control, his right hand never left the footy."

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