AAP Rugby

NRL admits crucial ref error in Manly loss

By AAP Newswire

The NRL has admitted Manly should have been awarded a last-play penalty in their controversial 12-10 loss to St George Illawarra.

The Sea Eagles were left fuming on Saturday night after winger Reuben Garrick was blocked from contesting a cross-field bomb by his skipper Daly Cherry-Evans in the final seconds.

With the Dragons leading by two, their centre Tim Lafai came into contact with Garrick as the Manly winger attempted to leap.

A penalty would have given Cherry-Evans a shot at forcing golden point.

"After discussing the decision with (referees boss) Bernie Sutton last night and again today, we both believe Manly should have received a penalty for an escort obstruction," NRL head of elite football Graham Annesley told AAP on Sunday.

"(Manly coach) Des Hasler has been advised accordingly."

The incident incensed Hasler, who said he spoken to the NRL last week to clear up a similar situation in his team's win over Newcastle.

"It goes directly in the face of what they were talking about as far as running defenders off the ball," Hasler said.

"We questioned one the week before so it's a bit confusing when they say these are the guidelines on the escort. But they won't rule on an escort there."

Asked for his understanding on how the rule worked, Hasler responded: "I don't know. I don't think anyone knows."

The controversial call also came just moments after Sea Eagles centre Brad Parker had been penalised for taking a chasing Dragons player off the ball.