‘We don’t give penalty tries for that’: Warriors denied by bunker’s controversial call as Knights grind out ugly win


The Warriors sunk to their third straight loss on Sunday against the Knights after having two tries controversially disallowed in the wet at Newcastle.

Veteran winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was the unlucky player on both occasions with the first one denied by the bunker even though Newcastle were penalised and the second disallowed due to an obstruction call which looked more like a poor read by the defence. 

Despite the contentious calls, the visitors were well below their best and Newcastle showed tremendous grit to record their second straight upset since star fullback Kalyn Ponga was ruled out for three months with a foot injury.

With the Knights clinging to an 8-6 lead late in the first half, Watene-Zelezniak flew high to reel in a Shaun Johnson crossfield kick but then fumbles the ball as he tries to put it down after a mid-air tackle from Greg Marzhew 

“It’s just a penalty, we don’t give penalty tries for that,” referee Chris Butler explained to Johnson after he protested the bunker’s decision.

Fox League analysts Michael Ennis “our game throws up some doozies sometimes, in terms of the rulings, this is certainly one of them”.

“In the in-goal, the bunker clearly says that Watene-Zelezniak takes a clean catch yet he’s tackled in the air by Greg Marzhew, unable to get the footy down and it’s not a penalty try. If he catches that cleanly and just falls to the ground, he scores every day of the week so I’m not sure how that’s not a penalty try in this day and age.”

The Warriors started the match in terrible fashion, conceding penalties and dropping the ball, particularly the back three, and it was an error by fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad which led to the first points.

CNK bobbles the kick in the in-goal and the Knights capitalise to open the scoring.

???? Watch #NRLKnightsWarriors on ch.502 or stream on Kayo: https://t.co/B1ijnGXtqA
BLOG https://t.co/FFSZbBkfyY
???? MATCH CENTRE https://t.co/I4BpCI8PC2 pic.twitter.com/08UGBga6xd

— Fox League (@FOXNRL) May 5, 2024

Jackson Hastings arrowed a grubber towards the goalpost and CNK fumbled the pick-up with Tyson Gamble gleefully touching down before the Warrior could make amends. 

The Knights went 8-0 up in the 15th minute when the Warriors were penalised for being offside after the home side tried a grubber into the in-goal area on play one following yet another handling error at the back. 

Veteran utility Dylan Walker cut the gap to just two points after Tohu Harris created a gap close to the line but the Warriors thought they should have been up at the break via a penalty try before the bunker denied their claims. 

Cronulla Sharks
St. George Illawarra Dragons
NRL : Head To Head
Sun, 5 May 2024, 16:07

* Odds Correct At Time Of Posting. Check PlayUp Website For Latest Odds
Imagine what you could be buying instead.
For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit gamblinghelponline.org.au

With rain tumbling down, neither side was able to click in attack so the Warriors took the opportunity to equalise in the 55th minute when Jed Cartwright was pinged for a late tackle on Harris.

Watene-Zelezniak was denied a second time when he slid over in the corner on the end of a right-side raid but Butler ruled obstruction on Jackson Ford even though Hastings looked to have made a poor defensive read.

Ford ran through as a decoy and Hastings wrapped his arms around the player rather than sliding across to shut down the backline movement.

Saifiti just walks through the Warriors line to take the lead.

???? Watch #NRLKnightsWarriors on ch.502 or stream on Kayo: https://t.co/B1ijnGXtqA
BLOG https://t.co/FFSZbBkfyY
???? MATCH CENTRE https://t.co/I4BpCI8PC2 pic.twitter.com/x6SQYassVf

— Fox League (@FOXNRL) May 5, 2024

Knights prop Daniel Saifiti charged onto a Hastings offering to power through three defenders for a 14-8 lead in the 64th minute and the Warriors panicked in the wet conditions during the closing stages to allow the home side to grind out just their fourth win from nine starts this season.

Marzhew was lucky not to end up in the sin bin for a shoulder charge on Rocco Berry as the Warriors launched the second-last of their late fruitless attacking raids.

The Warriors have just three wins and a draw from their nine appearances and after surging to the top four last season, they are under pressure to make the finals after droping to 14th following successive losses to the Dragons, Titans and Knights in their past three outings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.