Roosters Boyd Cordner celebrates winning the Grand Final with the crowd after the 2018 NRL Grand Final between the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium, Sydney. Picture: Brett Costello
Roosters Boyd Cordner celebrates winning the Grand Final with the crowd after the 2018 NRL Grand Final between the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium, Sydney. Picture: Brett Costello

'Correct decision': Refs boss defends six-again call

The NRL's Head of Football has defended Ben Cummins' controversial 'six-again' reversal decision which marred Sunday night's grand final victory by the Sydney Roosters.

With the scores locked at 8-8 in the 72nd minute, Cummins initially ruled the Canberra Raiders would be awarded a fresh set of six tackles - believing Roosters fullback James Tedesco had spilled a bomb - and signalled as such.

He quickly changed his mind, however, calling out 'last tackle' multiple times as the Raiders' attacking raid died with Jack Wighton tackled with the ball.

 

Referee Ben Cummins made a questionable decision which proved the turning point. Picture: Getty
Referee Ben Cummins made a questionable decision which proved the turning point. Picture: Getty

Wighton said the call was "massive" and that he didn't know Cummins had reversed his decision - but Annesley said he was right to do so.

"I had a look at four different camera angles of that. I think that the ball did come off the shoulder of a Raiders' player (rather than Tedesco)," Annesley told Channel Nine.

"The referee does call six more, but then immediately gets a call from the assist referee and one of the touch judges that it was off a Raiders' player.

"He immediately corrected that call and called last tackle and called last tackle four more times before the play actually break down.

"It's very disappointing that the game has been mined in controversy after that initial six again call.

"But ultimately, I believe the decision not to give six more tackles was correct and had they not corrected that decision, I would probably be standing here talking to you now about the fact that a try may have been scored in the next set off an incorrect decision where six tackles shouldn't have been awarded."

NRL Head of Football Graham Annesley has defended Cummins' decision-making in the game. Picture: AAP
NRL Head of Football Graham Annesley has defended Cummins' decision-making in the game. Picture: AAP

Former Parramatta star Peter Sterling said that the players may not have heard the revised call.

"When you're in the heat of battle, a player will see the signal, he won't hear anything else. He won't hear the verbal change of decision," Sterling said.

Certainly Wighton felt aggrieved by the decision and said he was 'just following the boss' when he held onto the ball.

"Everyone seen it with their eyes," Wighton said.

"I probably would have tried to get a repeat set or something if it wasn't six again.

"I was just following the boss. That is his decision and that is something I won't blame the game on, even though it is probably a big patch in the game."