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“Send our refs over” – Former NRL star stopped watching ‘comical’ World Club Challenge

Jamie Soward played against Wigan Warriors in a World Club Challenge

The day after Wigan Warriors defeated Penrith Panthers in the World Club Challenge should be consumed by how good the game was but officiating decisions once again have taken centre stage.

For the most part, the obsession with the refereeing decisions has come from down under with very few associated with the NRL giving Wigan their due.

The reactions have ranged from a Wigan player being labelled a “fibber” to accusations of “bias refereeing” by Liam Moore.

Even James Graham, who was working punditry for Fox League, suggested that Liam Moore guessed on his decision to award Jake Wardle’s try.

What made that even more controversial was that it ended up being the game-winner and in very similar circumstances he didn’t give Taylan May’s try, and again with no ‘conclusive evidence’ either way the video referee had to side with Moore.

Graham argued:  “You could probably send both up as ‘I’ve got no try, so can you look at them’. I think the Jake Wardle one in particular. I tend to agree (that this is more contentious than the Taylan May no-try).”

Former London Broncos player and current NRLW coach has also asked the same question of how Moore could award the try for Wardle.

Jamie Soward played just 16 games for London Broncos but his resume outside of Super League is impressive, playing over 200 NRL games and winning a premiership.

The ex-Penrith man took to social media to argue: “How can the ref call that. Absolutely rubbish. Double movement every day of the week. Worst call of 2024.”

“That is absolute rubbish” – Ex-Penrith man reveals he had to turn World Club Challenge game off

Soward’s sour grapes didn’t end with one social media post about the Jake Wardle try, he continued by doubling down on the statement as well as suggesting that the NRL should send their own referees over.

Soward posted: “That is absolute rubbish. The other angle is even worse. If the ref sends it up no try it’s no try. I’m not watching anymore, this is rubbish to have that give the lead in what is a good game.”

He then asked: “This is comical. Why if we are the elite league do we not have our ref over there?”

He did come around eventually and give some credit to Matt Peet’s side who lifted a record fifth World Club Challenge, tying the record with Sydney Roosters.

Despite having supposedly turned the game off he reacted after the final hooter, stating: “End of the day Wigan Warriors were very good and the Panthers had their chances. Wigan deserve us to be talking about the win, not the other stuff. Well done Wigan.”

Soward himself had played against Wigan in a World Club Challenge when he was at St George Illawarra Dragons in 2011, scoring two penalties and a drop goal in the 21-15 win.

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