Cooper Cronk believes the Blues were robbed of one last chance to square the scores in Origin I as Paul Kent called for referee Gerard Sutton to be dropped for the rest of the series.
In a crazy final minute with the Blues trailing 18-14 the Maroons tried to slow down the ball, which resulted in Felise Kaufusi being sin-binned and Queensland laying on James Tedesco in what turned out to be the final tackle of the game.
However the Blues appeared to clear the ball before the clock expired and Cronk believes Sutton got the crucial final call wrong.
CONTROVERSIAL end to Origin 1
State of Origin: Cooper Cronk and Paul Kent were quick to question the last few plays of the match, as Queensland appeared to get away with slowing the final chance down.
“Just that controversial little finish there towards the end,” Cronk said.
“Kaufusi that was the right call he had to go off. But with a couple of seconds to go there was about five Queensland Maroons basically giving away the penalty waiting for the clock to run down.
“Gerard Sutton should have blown a penalty and given NSW maybe two seconds to set up for one play because that was an infringement that needed to be pulled up.”
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Paul Kent went further by suggesting that Sutton should be axed for the remainder of the series after losing control of the final moments of the Origin opener.
“Gerard Sutton needs to lose the game for the next game,” Kent said.
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“He shouldn’t control Origin again after that. He totally lost it there.
“Kaufusi was just belligerent and refused to go off the field and pretended he didn’t know what was going on. Sutton should have got him off.
“And then in the last minute NSW actually passed the ball with time on the clock from dummyhalf. Then the siren rang with the ball in play and he whistled full-time.
“It doesn’t make sense.”
In a statement provided to the Sydney Morning Herald, the NRL defended Sutton’s actions.
“The referee gets a 10-second countdown from the match-day coach in their ear at the end of every half, based off the time-keeper,” an NRL spokesman told the Herald. “The referee calls full-time off that, not the siren or the scoreboard timer.”
Originally published as‘Totally lost it’: Cronk roasts ref blunder on final play
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