WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 20: Daly Cherry-Evans of the Sea Eagles shows his frustration as he speaks to referee Dave Munro during the round 6 NRL match between the Dragons and the Sea Eagles at WIN Stadium on April 20, 2019 in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 20: Daly Cherry-Evans of the Sea Eagles shows his frustration as he speaks to referee Dave Munro during the round 6 NRL match between the Dragons and the Sea Eagles at WIN Stadium on April 20, 2019 in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

NRL admits to stunning blunder

Round six continues this afternoon with the Titans and the Knights going head to head as each team attempts to steer themselves away from the lower depths of the ladder.

Later in the afternoon, the fourth placed Raiders will look to continue their hot streak of form against the down-in-the-dumps Broncos in Canberra.

The round officially wraps up tomorrow afternoon with the Eels hosting the Wests Tigers at Bankwest Stadium for a juicy public holiday clash.

1.30pm

NRL admits to escort blunder

Daly Cherry-Evans couldn’t believe it.
Daly Cherry-Evans couldn’t believe it.

Manly coach Des Hasler has questioned if anyone understands the NRL's escort rule after his side's controversial last-ditch loss to St George Illawarra. The Sea Eagles were left frustrated on full-time on Saturday after they claimed winger Reuben Garrick was blocked from chasing a last-play kick with the Dragons leading 12-10.

Garrick and Dragons centre Tim Lafai came into contact as the Manly winger attempted to leap for the ball, leaving Jordan Pereira to easily collect a Daly Cherry-Evans kick.

Cherry-Evans immediately questioned the decision not to blow a penalty, which would have given Manly the chance to have ashot at goal to send the game into golden point.

Annoying Hasler even more was the case he had spoken to the NRL just last week to clear up his uncertainty over the rule, after he questioned a decision in last week's win over Newcastle.

"It goes directly in the face of what they were talking about as far as running defenders off the ball," Hasler said.

"They spoke to us during the week about it.

"We questioned one the week before so it's a bit confusing when they say these are the guidelines on the escort. But theywon't rule on an escort there."

Fox Sports' James Hooper revealed the NRL admitted to the bungle on Sunday morning.

"I've spoken to the NRL's head of football Graham Annesley this morning, and the Manly Sea Eagles fans are going to be screaming blue murder because he's admitted the referees got that wrong," Hooper said.

"It should have been a penalty and Daly Cherry-Evans and the Sea Eagles should have been given the rights to lock the score up at 10-all.

"In relation to what happened I thought Daly was respectful and handled it as best he could in testing circumstances, but from Graham Annesley it was an error by the referees, they got that one wrong. It should have been a penalty.

"You can imagine that conversation with Des Hasler is going to be a fun one."

Asked for his understanding on how the rule worked, Hasler responded: "I don't know. I don'tthink anyone knows." The Manly coach said he planned on contacting NRL referees boss Bernard Sutton over the ruling to seek answers this week.

It came just moments after Sea Eagles centre Brad Parker had been penalised for taking a chasing Dragons player off the ball.

Regardless, both teams impressed in the clash.

Manly showed plenty of fight as they took it to the Dragons without strike weapon Tom Trbojevic and front-row weapon Addin Fonua-Blake. Meanwhile the Dragons were forced to win it with a 6-2 penalty count against them in the second half and just44 per cent of the ball.

"There was lot of resilience in what we done too," McGregor said. "We didn't get much go our way the whole night. Every timewe built a bit of momentum around the ruck we didn't get anything for it.

"We brought line speed and didn't get any reward for that. A 6-0 (sic) penalty count in the second half and to find that desireand resilience in our defence when we needed to.

"We had that energy at the right end of the game. You get the rewards and the wins."

- with AAP



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