Wests Tigers robbed, Valentine Holmes penalty goal, kick-off penalty, illegal kick-off, James Tamou captain's challenge, Ashley Klein Bunker ruling, news, highlights

Wests Tigers robbed, Valentine Holmes penalty goal, kick-off penalty, illegal kick-off, James Tamou captain’s challenge, Ashley Klein Bunker ruling, news, highlights

A fresh twist in the Wests Tigers and North Queensland Cowboys’ controversial contest has been revealed — and James Tamou was the first to spot it.

The Tigers are weighing up taking legal action against the NRL over the dramatic finish to the game after an escort penalty was awarded with one second on the clock, allowing the Cowboys to snatch victory.

And in a twist that will rub salt into the wounds for the Tigers it’s been revealed North Queensland should have been penalized in the lead-up to the chaotic final moments.

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The Tigers should have been awarded a penalty after vision showed Cowboys center Valentine Holmes crossing the halfway line when taking the kick-off.

“A player who kicks off or drops-out shall be penalized if he advances in front of the appropriate line before kicking the ball,” the Rugby League Laws of the Game read.

Tigers skipper Tamou, who was playing his 300th game, attempted to use his side’s remaining captain’s challenge, hoping the Bunker would pick up on the penalty.

But on-field referee Chris Buttler didn’t allow it.

“Can I challenge that?” Tamou asked.

“You can’t challenge the Bunker,” Butler said.

Valentine Holmes steps over the halfway line while taking the kick-off, constituting a penalty.Source: FOX SPORTS

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“Challenge off-side, I have a spare challenge,” Tamou said.

“They already cleared that, mate,” Butler replied.

NRL head of football Graham Annesley admitted on Monday that referees got the escort penalty wrong. But, the NRL boss confirmed the league believes the captain’s challenge was legal.

“You won’t find anywhere in black and white a specific rule that talks about whether you can make a challenge after time has expired on the last tackle of the game,” Annesley said.

“There is nothing in the rule that refers specifically to what took place. [Clubs] have all got a copy of the interpretations document that is updated and sent out to the clubs at the start of each year.

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“I’m reading directly from it, it says ‘The captain can challenge decisions by the referee from the point of the stoppage, back to the previous play the ball or restart of play’. That element is in black and white, and they’ve all got a copy of that.”

Speaking on NRL360 on Monday night, Tigers chairman Lee Hagipantelis revealed the club’s avenue for legal action was in relation to the timing of the penalty.

“There is an old adage that what happens on the field stays on the field, but that applies to the officiating decisions as well,” Hagipantelis said.

“Generally speaking they can’t be challenged.

“But our preliminary view is and what we are concerned about is that these decisions that have caused us such a complaint may have occurred after the completion of the game, and as such, any decision then taken by the referee would be null and might be the subject of a successful legal challenge.”

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