Fox League’s commentators have been left “stunned” after the Panthers were denied an early try in their crucial Cowboys clash.
Star halfback Nathan Cleary put a bomb up on the left side of the field, allowing young gun Izack Tago to leap high in an attempt to catch the ball colliding with the Cowboys No.1.
Before Tago makes contact with fullback Scott Drinkwater, the 25-year-old clearly loses possession, allowing Viliame Kikau to scoop the ball up and score.
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“The contact is okay, he is well within his right to make contact,” Fox League’s Steve Roach said.
“He has dropped the ball, this will be a try.”
Bunker referee Chris Butler saw otherwise, ruling the Panthers rookie made high contact on the Cowboys No.1, despite the ball having already been dropped by Drinkwater.
“Izack Tago has made contact with the head of Scott Drinkwater, we have a decision,” the Bunker referee ruled.
“We will take a look at that again, didn’t notice the contact with the head the first few times around,” Fox League’s Warren Smith said.
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“I think Ivan Cleary is a little bit stunned at the moment as are we.”
“I’d like to see a close up of the contact but, I thought Drinkwater dropped the ball first,” Fox League expert Cooper Cronk said.
“I don’t think there is contact with the head, they are both just jumping for the ball,” Smith said.
“I thought it was chest on shoulder if anything.”
“The error came before contact, so he dropped the ball before contact was made,” Cronk explained.
The try didn’t stop the Panthers from continuing their dominance in 2022, recording 16 unanswered points in the first half at BlueBet Stadium.
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