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Phil Gould fumes as he labels Wigan Warriors man “a fibber”

Wigan Warriors secured their fifth World Club Challenge title with a dramatic 16-12 win over Penrith Panthers, the second year in a row that the NRL champions have lost in the game.

It also marks the fourth time they’ve played and lost in a World Club Challenge game, that being a record in itself.

Last year the excuses revolved around the fact that the Pantherts hadn’t taken the game seriously or that the wet weather conditions suited St Helens.

This year though the excuses have been surrounding the English officiating with plenty of complaints about Wigan’s winning try scored by Jake Wardle.

Ex-NRL man Josh Mansour called out “bias refereeing” in a rant on social media and now high-profile pundit Phil Gould has had his say too.

“He hasn’t got anywhere near the line” – Gould rages over Wigan Warriors try

Wigan Warriors Penrith Panthers

Twelve months ago Gould made the infamous comments regarding Penrith being able to declare at halftime, something that served as a motivating factor for St Helens and left the former Penrith coach with egg on his face.

This year he made sure not to make any bold pre-match comments but he did have plenty to say after the match, particularly around the controversial Jake Wardle try.

Working on commentary for Channel Nine in Australia, Gould couldn’t believe what he was seeing when Wardle’s try was given on-field by Liam Moore and then upheld by video referee Chris Kendall.

Gould said: “He came down a long way short of the line. You could build a block of units between the ball and the line.

“He hasn’t got anywhere near the line. He hasn’t got anywhere near the line! He’s a fibre.”

Whilst the video did seem to show that Jake Wardle was well short and that any attempts to ground the ball were a result of a double movement, the try was still awarded.

That was the only score of the second half with Wigan overturning a half-time deficit of 12-10 to go on and win 16-12, etching their names into the history books.

Abbas Miski had opened the scoring after an excellent cut-out pass from Bevan French but Matt Peet’s side were pegged back when Nathan Cleary capitalised on a Miski mistake.

Wigan once again profited down their right-hand side when a slick move, that might have had some questionable forward passes in it, ended with Kruise Leeming diving over to restore the lead.

Dylan Edwards burrowed over for the Panthers just before halftime to send the NRL champions into the lead with Wardle’s winner coming early in the second half.

Penrith thought they might have tied the game up with the last play of the game but that time around Liam Moore didn’t award it on field, a decision upheld by Chris Kendall due to no conclusive evidence, just like Wardle’s ‘try’ that was given and then upheld on account of no conclusive evidence to overturn.



  1. Bob Dickson

    February 25, 2024 at 3:16 pm

    It’s unsatisfactory where you can’t determine that a ball has been grounded. The only conclusion is to have a set restart on the twenty to the attacking team until the set has been completed, even if time is up.

  2. Anthony Wood

    February 25, 2024 at 6:08 pm

    Phil Gould does have a point, I’m a Wigan fan and the Joe Wardle ‘try’ was a shocker! As was the ‘strip’ involving Liam Martin.. but those things happen in the heat of the moment. No such excuse can be given for the ‘try’ though.. definite double movement, even my missus called it, that’s how obvious it was.. to everyone apart from Liam Moore and Chris Kendall. Shame about all the controversy because Wigan put in a great shift. Last word.. Nathan Cleary, absolute class bloke!!

    • Barry Fitz

      February 25, 2024 at 9:55 pm

      I think youl find it was Jake Wardle that scored the try. You seem like a definite scholar of the game anthony wood
      His brother dont play rl anymore

    • Matthew pilling

      February 26, 2024 at 10:41 pm

      Absolutely not a try. Penrith got cheated. Wigan should be ashamed .

  3. Douglas Parker

    February 26, 2024 at 1:48 pm

    Just a shame it came down to this. Of course it was a double movement how could both referees miss it. Turned a great game into a farce. Double movement with a bit of creepy crawly. For the aussies take a look at the scoreboard.

  4. Leslie Bahn Kawa

    February 27, 2024 at 7:46 am

    The Australians say rugby league is a cruel game. There are times when decisions will be made by the man with whistle for you or againts you. Whether to agree or disagree, you can live with licking your wounds.

    Phil Gould can live with this one surely. Wigan was the better team.

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