Dragons Bulldogs Round 10 NRL 2009Video referee Steve Clark has possibly made the worst video referee decision of all time, incorrectly ruling no-try to the Bulldogs, allowing the Dragons to scrape home 20-18 in a thriller tonight at WIN Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah.

It was a tight, hard fought match that everyone expected, with the Dragons having near 70% possession in the first half but unable to run away on the scoreboard with the Dogs defending stoutly.

Boosted by a strong home crowd the Dragons threw everything at the Bulldogs in the first half, with Neville Costigan and Ben Creagh having strong games to give their team plenty of field position.

When the Bulldogs got even a glimpse of possession, they looked disjointed and nervous. While their attack was working well, they just couldn’t hold the ball – let alone make any inroads into the Dragons.

As the match wore on, Dragons prop Justin Poore begun to put his stamp on the game – making big metres and eventually getting over for a key try midway through the second half.

As the possession stakes evened up, the Bulldogs began to tally some points. Rookie centre Jamaal Idris was extremely strong on the fringes, busting tackles and proving a handful.

Opposite Idris, for the Dragons – Sailor was solid without being overly impressive.

With the Dragons leading for the most of the game, you always felt they had enough in them to get home. The Bulldogs were struggling after losing Brett Kimmorley to the sin-bin for a professional foul and limping along after consistent injuries to impressive prop Ben Hennant.

But some home, the Dogs just kept toiling. Scrimping and scraping, annoying the Dragons and frustrating them into errors.

Even after Justin Poore scored for the home side to get them 8 points clear, the Dogs refused to give in. They came back to score a try and get within 2 points of St George Illawarra.

With minutes to go, some poor kicking options from Michael Ennis looked to have spoiled things for the Bulldogs, but again they refused to lay down.

The Dragons were beginning to clock off with less than 2 minutes on the clock. They struggled to hit the ball up out of their red zone and with strong pressure from dummy half, the Dragons could only manage a short kick that failed to find touch.

The Bulldogs pounced, Patten fielding the ball and starting a strong run to cut through the Dragons defence. Patten beat several defenders as he went on a 25m run, eventually offloading to Idris who would go the remaining 15m to score an amazing try with only seconds on the clock.

Many felt it was game over. The Bulldogs scoring, the scores should have been 22-20 to the Dogs with a kick to come.

But the video referee was called upon after Dragons players complained of interference to Jamie Soward in the lead up to the try.

In real-time, several viewers had commented that they felt their was a collision between Soward and the ‘floating’ Eastwood, but after slow motion replays it was crystal clear that Soward had deliberately played for a penalty.

After several replays, you got the feeling the video referee was being suckered into the call. You got nervous that somehow he would get the call wrong.

Sadly, Steve Clark did just that. He got it all totally wrong, supposedly reading too much into the milking play by Soward to rule no-try to the Dogs.

Commentators and spectators alike were silenced for a period before erupting in protest. The crowd beginning to toss missiles onto the field as Bulldogs players pled for calm.

It was truly a classic game of high quality football. Sadly, the video referee intervened and made an incorrect call to spoil the finish.

The plucky Dragons have done well to get away with this one and full credit to them, they were the best side for the majority of the match and their season continues along nicely.

For the Bulldogs, while they remain at the heady end of the NRL Points Ladder, they will feel once again they were robbed in an NRL match. Already stripped of 2 points for a bungled interchange, they have again been hard done by.

Who knows, all these setbacks may just have them even better prepared for what seems like a finals bound season.

By ricky

6 thoughts on “Wrong video call costs Dogs”
  1. Seriously, what the hell was Steve Clark thinking? Was he even watching the same game? As a lifetime Bulldogs supporter i was left feeling WTF???

    70 minutes into the game, I had respect for Jamie Soward, being the next Elmasri. But now, his poofy little dance and milking has has set his team back. 3 referees on the field all within 20m of the play and no balls to make a call. Put Bill Harrigan back on the field or At least set up a training camp for the referees! TERRIBLE CALL CLARKIE!!!


  2. I felt disappointed and angry after Friday nights clash between the Bulldogs and St George.
    After all that had happened this week in the media and the negativity within the game of Rugby league I was looking forward to watching a great Heritage game by two great teams of the code. I felt the refeering from the first minute of the game was one sided and this carried on to the final crucial minute of the game when the bulldogs were denied a fair try.
    I dont understand they want to promote more supporters to the game especially amongst woman and to create a family fun environment. There was no fairness or equality in the refereeing.It seems to be that rules change every game and arent consistent.
    Why continue to support a code that to me has lost my respect as a fan.

  3. Idris handled his words well, smart, same with Moore, I would of cursed Steven Clarke’s name and get the $10 000 fine. They were robbed, and to wreck Hazem’s 300th game night.

  4. As a Souths supporter, this is the result that I wanted, keeping the competition leaders in touch etc. however, the result was wrong, there was no obstruction, just a clear case over acting from the Dragons half Soward and Video Ref Steve Clark bought it, hook, line and sinker.

    I feel that it’s a clear case of NRL imitating Soccer, where acting or taking a dive results in penalties and I for one don’t want the NRL to go down this road. The NRL always was and is one of the toughest games in the world and taking a dive, regardless how small is tantamount to being a coward, sleazy, or less than tough and the NRL has no room for such deceptive antics.

    In short, Steve Clark got it wrong and both he and Soward have been caught out.

  5. Who told bloody Steve Clark that I picked the Bulldogs!!! Finally looking good for a perfect round and he stuffs it.
    Surely that’s what happened, otherwise how could anyone be so stupid.

    The NRL is having a tough enough time as it is now, get it together……

  6. I have to admit , Stevie Wonder can see that Soward ran in front of the dog with open arms- cheat!

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