Hasler lashes ‘crazy’ Bunker after loss to Knights

Joel Gould |

Newcastle have stormed home after halftime to defeat the Titans in Brisbane.
Newcastle have stormed home after halftime to defeat the Titans in Brisbane.

Gold Coast coach Des Hasler lashed The Bunker as “crazy” after a controversial disallowed try in the 28-24 loss to Newcastle.

In the 76th minute Hasler insisted Kelly had scored a try that would have tied the match when he miraculously held off several Newcastle defenders and was ruled to have lost the ball in the grounding.

“Try every day of the week. The Bunker … it’s crazy,” Hasler said.

“His hand never came away from the ball. If it did it was a penalty for a strip. They don’t know.  They don’t know.”

Kelly said he scored.

“Bloody oath it was a try. I felt like I had control of it. I put it in the corner, and my arm was still holding the ball,” he said.

“It’s frustrating. It’s another tight one we’ve let slip away.

“In knockout football, that’s play on.

“Des was pretty pissed. Dessie is passionate about the team. I back him and he backs me.”:

As Hasler entered the press conference he joked with the media and said he “might have a quick whip around for some cash”.

He didn’t wait long to ring NRL head of football Graham Annesley for an explanation.

“I’ve already rung him,” he said at the press conference, before he added he had “no comment” about what was said.

Hasler said it would be futile to seek more clarity from Annesley on the ruling. The Titans lost 21-20 in golden point in round six to Canberra when Annesley admitted they should have received a penalty from in front minutes earlier for an offside charge-down.

“It will be the same clarity. ‘We got it wrong. We are sorry. Let’s move on. They are only human.’ Which they are. We all make mistakes,” Hasler said.

“I’m feeling really sorry for the fans and the players. The fans are just getting the rough end. Maybe Graham needs to consider that.”

Knights coach Adam O’Brien disagreed with Hasler.

“The technology is there. We used it and it was the right call. At the time I thought it was (a try) but watching it and hearing the explanation I agree,” he said.

The post-match controversy overshadowed Knights fullback David Armstrong scoring a hat-trick as incumbent NSW centre Bradman Best sustained a hamstring injury.

The Knights came back from a 14-point deficit and were awarded a penalty try to Jacob Saifiti to lead 28-24 before the Kelly incident.

The Best injury compounds the Blues’ issues with Nathan Cleary, Tom Trbojevic and Cameron Murray all set to miss the State of Origin series.

Gold Coast scored five unanswered tries in 22 minutes in the first half to take a 24-10 lead into the break with winger Alofiana Khan-Pereira notching a double.

Armstrong notched his third with another long-range effort and forward Jack Hetherington pressured Titans No.1 Keano Kini, who dropped the ball for Brodie Jones to reduce the margin to just two points before Saifiti was held back by Mo Fotuaika when he would have scored. 

Jojo Fifita of the Titans.
Jojo Fifita scores for the Titans in their four-point loss to Newcastle at Suncorp Stadium. (Dave Hunt/AAP PHOTOS)

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