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'A robbery': NRL pundits BLAST Bunker for penalty against Tigers

Rugby league pundits and former players were up in arms after the Wests Tigers were robbed of a victory by a controversial late penalty against North on Sunday.

Trailing 25-18 with six minutes to go, the Tigers looked to have sealed a famous comeback win courtesy of tries from Brent Naden and Starford To’a with the latter crossing with 90 seconds left to play.

But it was not to be for Wests, who conceded a penalty after the Cowboys kicked off with one second on the clock when Asu Kepaoa was judged to have taken out Kyle Feldt after the restart.

Referee Chris Butler awarded a controversial late penalty to the Cowboys after the Bunker intervened and deemed Asu Kepaoa had taken out Kyle Feldt

Contact between Feldt and Kepaoa appeared minimal but the Cowboys winger ended up on the turf and North Queensland skipper Chad Townsend opted to use a captain’s challenge.

Referee Chris Buttler referred the decision to the Bunker, with video official Ashley Klein awarding the Cowboys a penalty, which Valentine Holmes duly converted to seal a dramatic win.

Several rugby league pundits and former players were incensed by decision, with AAP NRL journalist Scott Bailey describing it as ‘the worst call of the year’ on Twitter.

sisli escort or not, you literally cannot challenge something that hasn’t been called,’ he tweeted.

AAP NRL journalist Scott Bailey described the decision as ‘the worst call of the year’ on Twitter

‘Otherwise players could challenge at every play-the-ball, something the NRL have been adamant all season cannot be done.Worst call of the year.’

Sydney Morning Herald journalist Michael Chammas and his Nine counterpart Zac Bailey echoed the stance, lamenting a ‘bad call’ and a ‘terrible decision’, while News Corp’s Dave Riccio called it ’embarrassing’.

Speaking on Triple M, NRL great James Graham called the decision a ‘disgrace’ and questioned why the Cowboys were allowed to call for a captain’s challenge when the referee had not stopped play.

Sydney Morning Herald journalist Michael Chammas and his Nine counterpart Zac Bailey echoed the stance and lamented a ‘terrible’ decision by the officials 

News Corp’s Dave Riccio called the decision to award the Cowboys a penalty ’embarrassing’

‘That is a shocker.What are they challenging? The full-time whistle? They’re challenging the fact the full-time siren went.

‘There is no decision to challenge. It’s just a tackle. That is a robbery – a balaclava, a sawn off shotgun, and someone has gone up to Townsville and robbed the Tigers of two points.’

His Triple M colleague Mark Geyer agreed.’I’ve gotta say that’s the WORST decision/ruling I’ve seen. How do you get that wrong,’ the former New South Wales player wrote on Facebook. 

Speaking on Fox League, rugby league legend Greg Alexander was similarly incredulous and tore into Klein.