The new NRL rules are going to take some getting used to if the New Zealand Warriors and Newcastle Knights game on the Central Coast is anything to go by.
The Knights showed some incredible resilience in defence to turn the Warriors back time and time again as the Kiwis dominated possession.
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But Knights hooker and new co-captain Jayden Brailey hit back against the run of play after 16 minutes, taking advantage of slow defenders and burrowing his way across the line.
It was the first try since September 1, 2019 when he was playing for the Sharks, ending a 566 day wait.
At the other end, the Warriors appeared to hit back through their hooker Wayde Egan as he also burrowed over.
Under the new rule, the referee awarded the try but the bunker had a look at it.
The commentators had no problem with the moment.
“He gets the ball down, that’s great vision there,” Steve Roach said on Fox League. “There’s enough chalk on that and as you say, both hookers over the stripe in the first half.”
But the conversion was held up as the bunker had a look at the slow motion vision with the ball appearing to bobble as he put it down.
“There’s movement of the ball, he loses possession over the goal line,” senior review official Alan Shortall said. “We have a decision.”
Matt Russell was shocked.
“This is going to be taken away from the Warriors on review,” he said.
Roach added: “Do you reckon he lost possession of the ball on the way down?”
Russell still wasn’t sure as the Warriors got a penalty for the Knights not being square.
Luckily for the Warriors, they didn’t have to wait long for the equaliser as Ben Murdoch-Masila crossed the line to even up the match at 6-all.
But some believed it was the wrong call.
At halftime, Greg Alexander was cranky over the call.
“There was a no try here that we all thought was a try,” Alexander said. “Now it went upstairs to the bunker, who said he lost control of the ball. I’d argue that all day long.
“He did not lose control of that football, there’s no way he lost control, his right hand never left the footy.”
However, the result is in the books, with Newcastle taking the lead to the break with a penalty goal despite the Warriors having 57 per cent possession for the half.