A contentious call from The Bunker has marred Friday night’s Queensland derby between the Broncos and Cowboys.
Brisbane hosted North Queensland at Suncorp Stadium and made the most of the home-ground advantage early, running out to a 22-12 halftime lead.
When the home side found the chalk through Kotoni Staggs shortly after the break, the result looked to be sealed.
However, the Cowboys refused to die and hit back through prolific tryscorer Kyle Feldt midway through the half.
When the Origin winger crossed again minutes later, the home crowd became uneasy.
That was, until The Bunker intervened.
Scott Drinkwater split the Broncos’ defence on the fifth tackle and found Feldt, who looked to have planted the footy down for a try.
The referee awarded the points on field and the try was confirmed by The Bunker.
Sensationally, The Bunker then decided to re-examine the try as Drinkwater lined up for his conversion, leaving commentators baffled.
“We were told down the line: Try confirmed,” said Fox League’s Warren Smith.
On closer inspection, The Bunker overturned the decision on the grounds that Feldt had lost control of the ball.
Commentators were incredulous.
“What are we talking about? Are they serious up there?” asked Panthers legend Greg Alexander.
“It took them that long, and they confirmed (the try), the audio said it was confirmed on field by the referee.
“I’ve got no problem with the put-down.”
Even Broncos legend Corey Parker conceded that the Cowboys were “really hard done by” the decision.
“It’s cruel, absolutely cruel,” agreed Smith.
Pundits were just as dumbfounded online.
Most upsettingly for Cowboys fans, the try would have made the contest a one-score game with more than 15 minutes to play. Instead, the Cowboys relinquished possession and did not hit the scoreboard for the remainder of the night, leaving the Queensland capital on the wrong end of a 37-18 scoreline.
After the game, NRL legends added to the chorus of disapproval.
“That’s a try in my opinion,” said 2004 Premiership-winner Braith Anasta after the game.
“That is a try to Kyle Feldt, especially because it went up as a try. I don’t know how you could possibly overturn it.”
“I’ve seen worse tries given,” agreed Storm and Roosters legend Cooper Cronk.
The loss has all but ruined the Cowboys’ chances of making the finals in their first season under Todd Payten.
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