Saturday, January 29, 2022
Home Game 'Splitting hairs': NRL respond to Smith knock-on

‘Splitting hairs’: NRL respond to Smith knock-on

NRL head of football Graham Annesley has responded to the pivotal moment which caused some controversy in Thursday night’s thrilling golden point victory for the Storm over the Roosters.

An apparent knock-on by Brandon Smith moments before Ryan Papenhuyzen’s field goal to send the game into golden point was picked up on social media by eagle-eyed fans, but missed by the on-field referees and commentators.

Brandon Smith’s apparent knock-on (Nine)

Kiwi international Smith did his utmost to get a pass away quickly, but in doing so he appeared to mishandle the play-the-ball and almost certainly knocked it on.

Having seen the reaction on social media following the match, with some fans describing a “blatant knock-on”, Wide World of Sports put our video experts to work to check the all-important play and the result.

In normal time the play is extremely difficult to spot, with the camera angle changing quickly to capture Papenhuyzen’s field-goal attempt.

NRL Highlights: Storm v Roosters – Round 8

Annesley addressed the incident in a comment to the Sydney Morning Herald with a surprising conclusion, admitting while there was a knock-on, it was not obvious enough for officials to award.

“I am aware of the noise around this incident and I’ve reviewed the footage this morning,” Annesley told the Herald.

“While there could be a slight hint of a bobble as Smith places the ball on the ground, it certainly isn’t clear-cut.

“It didn’t even rate a mention during the television coverage and it would have been splitting hairs – and just as controversial – had it been ruled as a lost ball or knock-on.

“I thought the referee [Ashley Klein] contributed enormously to one of the great games of the past decade, and it doesn’t deserve to be diminished by such microscopic scrutiny.”

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