Sean O'Sullivan of the Roosters celebrates a try.
Sean O'Sullivan of the Roosters celebrates a try.

Refs boss admits Bunker bungled O’Sullivan try

NRL referees boss Bernard Sutton admits his whistleblowers got it wrong when they awarded rookie Sydney Roosters half Sean O'Sullivan one of the most controversial tries in years.

The Bunker was slammed for giving the green light to the four-pointer in the first half of the Roosters' 20-12 win over the Gold Coast at Cbus Super Stadium on Sunday.

The decision was described as a howler and Titans coach Garth Brennan was angered after the video referees had several looks at the incident yet still awarded a try.

O'Sullivan, standing in for Cooper Cronk, had the ball stripped from his grasp by Titans prop Jarrod Wallace before the 19-year-old appeared to rake it forward off the goalpost padding then bobble the ball a second time.

Sutton admits senior review official Steve Chiddy was wrong to award the try.

"Once it touched the ground it constituted a knock on and should have been ruled that way," Sutton said.

Sutton however defended several other contentious calls over the weekend including two dubious forward pass decisions and the penalty which led to Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith potting a game-winning two-points against Manly.

Sean O'Sullivan knocks the ball on before being awarded a try. Picture: AAP
Sean O'Sullivan knocks the ball on before being awarded a try. Picture: AAP

The Sea Eagles were penalised after the ball bounced forward off Trent Hodkinson's head and Joel Thompson regathered in the closing stages of the Storm's gripping 14-13 victory at Lottoland.

Thompson was penalised, however Manly coach Trent Barrett questioned why it wasn't ruled accidental off-side, which would have resulted in a scrum rather than Smith booting the deciding penalty conversion with eight minutes remaining.

Sutton said the stance taken by his men was correct after Thompson played at the ball from an off-side position.

"It was a correct decision to award a penalty to the Storm," Sutton said.

Sutton also defended controversial try-rulings which led to Roosters forward Poasa Faamausili and Melbourne winger Suliasi Vunivalu being awarded four-pointers.

Faamausili barged over off what appeared to be a forward pass from Kurt Baptiste in the second half against the Titans.

Vunivalu crossed after a flick pass from Curtis Scott which was widely considered to have travelled forward out of the hands.

Sutton said the passes leading up to both tries were judgment calls made in real time and the officials were in good positions to rule.



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