30 Mar 2021

NRL says Warriors scored from forward pass

6:26 am on 30 March 2021

The National Rugby League's head of football says the Warriors did score a crucial try from a forward pass on Saturday.

The Warriors Ben Murdoch-Masila puts out a fend against the Raiders.


The Warriors came back from 19 points down at half time to beat the Raiders 34-31 in Canberra with controversey surrounding the Auckland side's fourth try.

The pass from Kodi Nikorima to Ben Murdoch-Masila appeared forward and despite protests from the Raiders the try was awarded by New Zealand referee Henry Perenara.

Graham Annesley has conceded it was a forward pass and said the NRL plans to trial technology to eliminate such errors.

While the NRL head of football stressed that technology to determine forward passes won't be used this season, he said it could be tested in a training session sometime this year.

"We are making progress and we have been talking to a company for quite some time. I'm hopeful that we're not that far off a trial, a test of the technology," Annesley said.

"And then, if we get to that point and we can be convinced that the technology is accurate, it becomes a business case that we have to minute to the [ARL] Commission to justify the expenditure and the benefit that will flow ... if the Commission was to approve it."

The Bunker can't rule on forward passes.

"We put up our hand on this one," Annesley said.

"Camera angles can be deceiving at times [and] there are some factors that probably exaggerated the look of it when it took place, but I'm not going to try and pretend that it wasn't forward.

"This decision has been reviewed by the refereeing department and by Jared Maxwell, and they believe that it's a forward pass.

"We can all have debates about forward passes, but until we can get technology that absolutely gives us the answer beyond any doubt, there will always be a question mark over them."

Annesley said the Integrity Unit and NRL CEO Andrew Abdo are still reviewing whether Canberra coach Ricky Stuart breached any rules with his short media conference and alleged abuse of Perenara.

Stuart has vehemently denied saying anything untoward to the officials as he watched the match from the sideline.