Ex-Leigh Centurions and Castleford Tigers man baffled by no try decision in Tonga vs Papua New Guinea

In last night’s World Cup clash between Tonga and Papua New Guinea, there were plenty of talking points.

Rhyse Martin nailed a record equalling conversion, Leigh stars stole the show for Papua New Guinea, Tonga found a way to win and look set to avoid England in the quarter-finals with a battle against Samoa now on the cards instead.

However, one thing that dominated discussion was the decision to disallow Rodrick Tai’s try in the second half which would have given PNG the chance to level the game earlier than they did.

Furthermore, add that and the list of other disallowed tries for the Kumuls onto the final scoreboard and they win.

The try saw Tai go in at the corner where an effort was made to bundle him into touch. Referee Liam Moore sent the decision upstairs to Ben Thaler as a no try and Thaler didn’t find the evidence to overturn the decision.

Tai made a mesmeric effort to try and squeeze the ball down before the touchline but no conclusive evidence was found to overturn the decision.

After the game, PNG skipper Rhyse Martin noted his frustration with some of the calls: “The scrum decision before halftime where we could have taken the two points, I don’t know why the penalty went against us there.

“I think it was three disallowed tries as well. If we get those we have the lead and it’s a totally different ball game.”

Coach Stanley Tepend had similar thoughts and believed that one try in particular, the one for Rodrick Tai, should have been given: “I thought it was a try, I think most people watching would have given it as a try.”

Equally star fullback Alex Johnston echoed these thoughts as the Kumuls noted their frustration: “We crossed a couple of times and think we should have had the lead, so to lose on the bell it hurts.”

The reaction didn’t stop there with ex-Castleford and Leigh winger Jy Hitchcox left bemused by the decision and the camera quality as he took to Twitter to say: “All you can do is laugh at the decisions and the abysmal camera quality.

“Clear try missed, clear shoulder charge missed.

“And it’s all being filmed on a Samsung flip by the looks of it.”

Hitchcox may be a bit biased with some of his former Leigh teammates in the PNG team, still he is not alone in his opinion with many on social media echoing his take.

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Brendan Lee Stafford
Brendan Lee Stafford
1 month ago

As an avid yet neutral fan of rugby league at all levels, I was dismayed at Ben Thaler’s decision to rule No Try against PNG vs Tonga. All video angles available confirmed that Tai crossed the goal line, only touched the corner post and grounded the ball level and flat. As Robbie Hunter-Paul commented post match, the curvature of a rugby ball grounded as I’ve described shouldn’t touch the whitewash line, and it didn’t!!

Good luck to both teams in the competition regardless of the faux pas!