The Wests Tigers’ audacious bid to have the result overturned in their controversial loss to North Queensland has failed, with the NRL confirming that it would remain a win to the Cowboys.
A statement from the governing body explained that although top brass met with Tigers chairman Lee Hagipantelis and CEO Justin Pascoe last week, the club would not be successful in their bid to retrospectively be awarded the two points.
It was always a long shot that any action to try and get a changed result would yield success, with the NRL saying that although mistakes were made, that would not be happening.
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In a statement released by the Tigers soon after the NRL’s final verdict was made public, the club confirmed it would not be pursuing legal action.
“The NRL has already acknowledged that the Bunker official decision of ‘escort’ was incorrect, leading to the erroneous awarding of a penalty in favor of North Queensland Cowboys which ultimately decided the match,” the NRL statement read.
Both sides argued on whether or not a challenge should have been allowed in the first place, with the NRL standing firm on the legality of that part of the process – despite the penalty that was awarded being incorrect.
“The NRL is comfortable with the interpretation that was applied but has acknowledged, in light of the concerns raised by the Wests Tigers, that the rule needs to be reviewed at the end of the season to provide more clarity so as to ensure that there is no future misunderstanding as to the intent and application of the rule,” it said.
“Wests Tigers will be consulted as part of the review, together with other interested clubs and stakeholders.”
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The NRL acknowledged “the professional and respectful manner in which the representatives of the Wests Tigers have pursued their concerns on behalf of their club’s members and fans” but said there would be no further discussions about the match.
The NRL’s verdict followed a strong reaction, not just from the Tigers, but from a raft of the game’s commentators who felt the club was “robbed” of the two points due to the post-siren decision to award the Cowboys a penalty.
“Wests Tigers have decided not to pursue a course of legal action following the club’s loss to North Queensland Cowboys in Round 19 of the NRL Telstra Premiership,” the Tigers’ statement said.
“The club, through chair Lee Hagipantelis and CEO Justin Pascoe, has been involved in lengthy discussions with the NRL over the past two weeks, and following the receipt of external legal advice, has decided against pursuing this matter any further.
“The NRL has acknowledged, in light of the concerns raised by the Wests Tigers, that the rules do need to be revised at the end of the season, so as to prevent similar incidents occurring again.”
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