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NRL football boss says Salmon tackle call was ‘unacceptable’

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A top NRL executive has come out and said that the New Zealand Warriors were unlucky to not be awarded a late penalty in their match on Saturday night against the Canterbury Bulldogs.

Bulldogs second-rower Jaeman Salmon’s tackle on Warriors half Te Maire Martin was not picked up by match officials at the time, despite appearing to be both late and high. Canterbury went on to win 13-12.

Graham Annesley, the NRL head of football, made the claim in his weekly briefing.

“We think this is a miss by the match officials and it’s unacceptable, but that’s what took place,” he said.

Contentious decision cost Warriors the match

The missed penalty came at a crucial stage in the match for both sides.

The Warriors had won possession on the Bulldogs’ 20-metre line and rushed toward the opposition goal with the scores tied at 12-12 and only minutes left on the clock.

Eager to stop a charging Martin, Salmon thumped into the Warriors playmaker and brought him crashing down on the pitch.

Replays revealed that the challenge was late on Martin, so the Warriors had a legitimate penalty claim.

The bunker looked at the challenge for considerable time before ruling it out.

According to Annesley, the officials did not consider the lateness of the challenge; they were only interested in checking whether the tackle on Martin was dangerously high or not.

“The bunker did spend all of their time in this review trying to determine whether this was high contact or not,” the former New South Wales Minister for Sport explained.

“What they didn’t do in this case was give due regard to the tackle being late, or the contact being late and whether the defender could have pulled out of this tackle or not or at least reduced the velocity of it.

“The real question here is should this have been penalised on-field and the answer to that is clearly yes, it should have been. Not because it was high, but because it was late.”

Warriors’ finals odds lengthen following Bulldogs defeat

A three-match winning run in late May and early June reignited the dimming hopes of top-eight qualification in the Warriors camp.

Having lost four of their last five matches, however, Andrew Webster’s men are now 14th on the table with 17 points to their name.

They are now at $1.20 to miss the finals, while Bet365 has the Warriors at $67 to make a recovery run and clinch the title.

They are ahead of only the Knights ($81), Dragons ($151), Raiders ($251), Eels ($1,001) and Tigers ($2,001) in the title race, based on the latest NRL odds.

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