The NRL has conceded the use of the captain’s challenge “needs to be reviewed,” however no action will be taken regarding the Wests Tigers’ controversial loss to the Cowboys in Round 19.
Meanwhile, The Sydney Morning Herald reports the Tigers will not pursue the matter further.
The Tigers lodged a formal complaint after the Cowboys received an escort penalty in the final seconds of the game, allowing Valentine Holmes to kick the matchwinning goal.
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While there were big question marks raised over the penalty itself, there was also confusion over how the Cowboys were able to trigger a captain’s challenge when it seemed like play was never stopped.
As a result the Tigers demanded answers and began looking at legal options to potentially get the result overturned.
The NRL acknowledged that the escort penalty was incorrect but stood by the Cowboys’ right to use their captain’s challenge.
Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe and chairman Lee Hagipantelis met with ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys, NRL CEO Andrew Abdo and NRL head of football Graham Annesley last week to discuss the matter.
The NRL released a statement on Monday afternoon to confirm that no action will be taken regarding the result other than a review of the captain’s challenge at the end of the season.
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“The Chairman and CEO of the Wests Tigers met with the Chairman of the ARLC, NRL CEO and NRL Head of Football last week,” an NRL statement read.
“The meeting was convened to discuss various aspects of the rulings made in the final minutes of the Wests Tigers and North Queensland Cowboys match on 24 July 2022, being the subject of a formal complaint lodged by Wests Tigers with the NRL.
“The NRL has acknowledged the concerns raised by the Wests Tigers and in response has put forward its interpretation of the rules which enabled the Captain’s Challenge to be made and the subsequent decision of the Bunker match official.
“The NRL has already acknowledged that the Bunker official decision of “escort” was incorrect, leading to the erroneous awarding of a penalty in favour of North Queensland Cowboys which ultimately decided the match.
“On the matter of whether the Captain’s Challenge was permissible in terms of how the rules were drafted, the NRL and the Wests Tigers expressed differing views and interpretation.
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“The NRL is comfortable with the interpretation that was applied but has acknowledged, in light of the concerns raised by the Wests Tigers, that the rule needs to be reviewed at the end of the season to provide more clarity so as to ensure that there is no future misunderstanding as to the intent and application of the rule. Wests Tigers will be consulted as part of the review, together with other interested Clubs and stakeholders.
“The NRL acknowledges the professional and respectful manner in which the representatives of the Wests Tigers have pursued their concerns on behalf of their Club’s members and fans.
“There will be no further consideration in relation to the match of 24 July 2022.”