Nine's NRL commentary legends Ray Warren and Phil Gould were baffled by a unique call made by referee Gerard Sutton during Friday night's semi-final clash between Manly Sea Eagles and the Sydney Roosters.
In the second half as the Roosters were trailing 36-6 against the soaring Sea Eagles, Sydney skipper James Tedesco protested to Sutton over a penalty against Daniel Tupou.
The towering winger was advancing toward the try-line when he was tackled by several Manly defenders who tried to drag him into touch. As they did, Tupou attempted to fling the ball back into play, but Sutton deemed it an illegal action as he was on the turf and tackled.
However Gould and Warren weren't so sure about the ruling.
"He's been pushed towards the sideline, throws it back infield, now they have ruled it [a penalty] for passing off the ground. That's a technical one, Rabs. Where's your rule book? Give me a read on that one," Gould said.
"It's an interesting one, isn't it?'
"Gus, I think he has the wrong end of the pineapple to be honest with you," Warren replied.
"If they're entitled to continue the momentum in pulling him across the sideline surely he has to be able to use the only thing he has available in retaliation to pass the ball back to a teammate in the field of play."
To further complicate the call, Tedesco was told by Sutton that he couldn't challenge the penalty decision because the referee said the tackle had been completed.
"There was no call though," Tedesco continued arguing.
NRL Highlights: The Sea Eagles eliminate the Roosters in a blowout - Semi Finals
Gould was impressed that despite being down by so many points Tedesco was still trying to fight for his team.
"Still fighting. 36-6 down," he said.
"See Tedesco right up there with the referee.
"They haven't got a challenge there and he still wants the ball back. That's the competitor in him."
Warren was still perplexed by Sutton's decision though.
"They wouldn't have been entitled to put him over the sideline if, in fact, he was judged to have been tackled. You can't do that. Once tackled, you can't do that. Once a tackle has been made you can't lift a player and lift him over the sideline or the try-line," he said.
"So, he's got one way out of the mess that he's in and that is to pass the ball.
"According to Gerard, no, you can't do that. Is there a challenge was the question... no, you can't do that."
Manly went on to notch a comfortable 42-6 victory against the Roosters and will now face the Rabbitohs for a place in the NRL grand final.
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