The Broncos defeated the Knights 36-12 at Hunter but Newcastle were upset by the two bunker controversy, with Andrew Johns even labeling the second as “ridiculous”.
Knights center-back Dan Gagai rejected an attempt in the 35th minute when the former Rabitoh crossed to the right edge but was thought to have cheated the ball.
There was a clear separation between Gagai’s right hand and the ball, but many believe he regained control of the foot when he hit it.
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Smith and Galen clash over Gagai no-try drama
The Knights halfback Adam Clooney was awarded a try in the 70th minute despite a clear interruption as a result of the second bunker play.
Maire Martin ran behind teammate Jordan Ricky before passing the ball at the Brisbane fullback, and the game ended with a goal from winger Selwyn Kobo, who supported Bunker.
“A lot of the time when they catch inwards, it doesn’t stop,” Brad Fitler said of Nine’s coverage.
“Now you can clearly see that Clooney has Ricky in front of him, so he can’t see what Te Maire Martin is doing with the ball.
“That’s a bad call. A bad call.”
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The denied Gagai attempt was not as polarizing as the second incident.
Cameron Smith and Paul Galen protested when they were crushed during Nine’s half-time coverage.
“I actually thought he grounded football,” Smith said.
“I suggest he loses football … but as soon as he lands the ball it comes in contact with his hand.
“I actually thought it was an attempt.”
“I’m glad I didn’t try it,” Galen said.
“I think it must have gotten out of his hands. He slammed the ball, but I think you need to regain some control over it.
“So I’m glad I didn’t try.”
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