'You scored off the back of that...' The tense question that hung over the NRL Grand Final.

It doesn’t get more tense than an NRL Grand Final match, but the tension hasn’t ended after Sunday night’s final buzzer.

To put it lightly, there’s a lot of fans who aren’t too happy.

The Sydney Roosters last night became the first team to record back-to-back premierships in 26 years. Their 14-8 win over Canberra, however, has been tarred by the backflip from the referee in the 72nd minute.

Johnathan Thurston, who was a panellist on Nine’s coverage for the game, finished the night by asking the question most viewers wanted to ask – even though it made for uncomfortable live TV.

Johnathan Thurston and Trent Robinson discuss the refereeing decision below on Nine’s NRL coverage. Post continues after video.

Video by Nine

To set the scene for you (in case you missed the Grand Final), the Roosters and Raiders were level at 8-8 with eight minutes to go when Jack Wighton hoisted the ball in the air and it came down in a crowded pack of players.

As it bounced backwards into the Raiders’ grasp, referee Ben Cummins waved his hands in the air, to signal a new set, and could be heard saying “six again”.

However, when the call from his assistant referee Gerard Sutton came that the ball had in fact deflected off a Raiders’ player, he quickly changed his call, ruling “handover.”

From the ensuing set, the Roosters scored a brilliant team try with fullback James Tedesco sealing the game.


In a debrief with the panel, Thurston asked Roosters’ coach Trent Robinson: “Cummins waves six to go and then calls fifth tackle, what’s your thoughts on that?”

Robinson, however, was clearly uncomfortable with the insinuation.

“On refereeing for the whole game?” he responded.

“He yelled six to go and you scored off the back of that,” Thurston challenged.

“Look, I don’t see that. Did you — you felt as though we got lucky there, JT?” Robinson replied.

Thurston didn’t back down.

“I was just saying because he called six to go and then he’s called fifth tackle, so I was just asking what your thoughts were on that,” he said.

“Mate my thoughts? Honestly if you are bringing that up at this time there could have been lots of decisions that we want to go through,” Robinson said.

“I thought that we were under the pump for a lot of that game and we fought hard and we won the game.

“I felt like there was a lot of controversy at different times and we decided to take advantage of it. We decided to make a difference and change the momentum of the game and we did.”

Thurston wasn’t alone in his line of questioning, with rugby league fans flooding social media with their thoughts.



Raiders coach Ricky Stuart chose not to discuss the six-again call in post match chat, telling journalists, “Instead of me saying what I think and then getting abused by everybody in regards to my unsportsmanship manner, you write what you think … The first thing I did when I went onto the field was congratulate the four officials. No one goes out there to make a mistake.”

NRL’s head of football defended the call.

“Does that initial decision affect the way Canberra play out that tackle, yeah I’m sure it does. But if they had not and the Raiders had scored, I’d probably be sitting here telling you that a try had been scored off an incorrect decision,” said Graham Annesley.

This morning, coverage of the game has gone from bad to worse, with media labelling the NRL Grant Final a “comedy of errors.”

The Daily Telegraph reports Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was told he had won the Clive Churchill Medal after the game, only to watch Jack Wighton take the stage to claim the prize.

With AAP