It took a bit over eighty eight minutes, but it was a Josh Reynolds try in Golden Point that took the Bulldogs up in to third place on Thursday night.
Golden point is often criticised. The referees are often criticised. The performance of the referees in golden point is examined double-time. But there is a good reason for this. It seems there’s an unwritten rule that in golden point, there is no such thing as offside. It seems there’s an unwritten rule that in golden point, the markers are always square. Or maybe it’s just that the referees don’t want to have to blow a penalty that could decide an entire game. Ashley Klein was happy to blow a penalty when the Bulldog behemoth Sam Kasiano was ruled to interfere with Jamie Buhrer, but afraid to do it in the final ten minutes when Manly were offside for the Bulldogs’ attempts at a one pointer. Likewise, there was no penalty in golden point when both sides rushed up too early to block drop shots. Why though?
Justice served for Reynolds
Phil Gould said it. Ray Warren said it. Andrew Johns said it. Brad Fittler said it. Bernard Sutton didn’t agree with the rest of the rugby league world and denied a perfectly legitimate golden point try to Josh Reynolds for something that he called a push in the back, and everyone else called incidental. A criticism of the bunker is their lack of rugby league nous in decisions, and it was on show for all to see again.
Manly finish with a fight
The Bulldogs didn’t have it easy by any means, standout performances from Martin Taupau and Daly Cherry-Evans almost getting the Sea Eagles two points in a clash that would eventually cut short their charge to the finals. Taupau ran for in excess of two hundred metres and Cherry did all that he could with the ball, and though it ultimately wasn’t good enough it sounded a warning shot for the 2017 season.
Déjà vu all over again – almost
2013. Canterbury got to an 18-0 lead against the Sea Eagles at Brookvale before we went to extra time locked at 30-all. Trent Hodkinson then slotted a goal from forty metres out to clinch the game. This time it was Jamie Lyon’s turn to take the goal from forty out to take the game, but due to either sheer exhaustion or a mis-kick, he sprayed it. Those moments are the ones that win games, though it was not to be for Manly.
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