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Ricky Stuart is left FUMING after Canberra are denied last-second penalty in controversial loss

Ricky Stuart believes the NRL owes him an apology as Raiders boss FUMMEND is left behind after Canberra was fined last second for controversial loss to St George Illawarra

  • St George Illawarra defeated Canberra 12-10 in the WIN Stadium on Sunday
  • Dragons delayed the game with five seconds left and five tackles over
  • But referee Peter Gough didn’t award Raiders a penalty in front of the post
  • Ricky Stuart and Raiders skipper Elliott Whitehead overturned the decision

Ricky Stuart was left furious after Canberra was denied a last-minute penalty on Sunday in a 12-10 loss to St George Illawarra in a rainy WIN stadium.

The Dragons led by two points with just over a minute to go when the Raiders had a great opportunity to score after St. George’s fullback Cody Ramsey dropped a bomb.

The Dragons defense refused to move through the first five tackles and St. George utility Jack Bird halfback Ben Hunt then laid over Joe Tapine for deliberately slowing the game after the Raiders prop was tackled five yards from the try line.

Ricky Stuart left furious with referee Peter Gough after controversial end to Raiders loss to St George

Ricky Stuart left furious with referee Peter Gough after controversial end to Raiders loss to St George

Referee Peter Gough intervened to give another six to resume the tackle count, but failed to award the Raiders a penalty just before the spot, which in all likelihood would have tied the score and left the game in a golden run brought.

When the new set of six started, Hunt tackled dummy-half Tom Starling and the game was over.

‘I only saw it once’ [and] I only have to see it once,” said a visibly frustrated Stuart after the game.

“Tomorrow I’ll get an apology or a justification that there is no punishment. We set ourselves up to win that game with a very tough grind.”

St George utility Jack Bird halfback Ben Hunt then put down Joe Tapine to intentionally slow the game down with six seconds left to play

St George utility Jack Bird halfback Ben Hunt then put down Joe Tapine to intentionally slow the game down with six seconds left to play

Before Hunt tackled Tom Starling despite not standing in the marker's square after the umpire gave a six-to-one call to resume the set

Before Hunt tackled Tom Starling despite not standing in the marker’s square after the umpire gave a six-to-one call to resume the set

Raiders captain Elliott Whitehead was similarly scathing for the decision, but admitted Canberra had wasted too many chances to win the match.

“I’d better not comment because then I’ll get it back,” said Whitehead, who has repeatedly advocated his team’s case to Gough.

‘It shouldn’t come to that’ [last play], we are a better team than that. We’ve let ourselves down and made too many mistakes.’

Speaking on The Matty Johns Show on Fox League after the game, Storm star Brandon Smith pointed out that the incident had highlighted the fallacy of the six-to-one approach the NRL implemented this season.

Raiders Captain Elliott Whitehead (No.12) protested vigorously to the umpire

Raiders Captain Elliott Whitehead (No.12) protested vigorously to the umpire

Where previously a violation on the ruck would have been penalized, a six-to-one call is now given to speed up play.

“This is where a six-again isn’t really a big asset for you as a team,” said Smith.

“But I think if you just throw the ball in there – I don’t think it’s legal – but if you pretend you’re passing the ball, I think they get a two-point conversion.”

Raiders star Jack Wighton endured a tough day at the office after recovering from Covid-19

Raiders star Jack Wighton endured a tough day at the office after recovering from Covid-19

The loss to St George leaves the Raiders languishing in 11th place, while the Dragons move up to eighth, four points ahead of Canberra.

One of the main culprits to undo the Raiders’ hard work was five-eighth Jack Wighton, who is expected to be named to the NSW State of Origin squad Monday.

Struggling to force himself into the game – his first since missing State of Origin II with COVID-19 – Wighton made four mistakes and endured a scorching time with the shoe in horrendous conditions.

Moses Suli scored St. George's second try of the afternoon just before halftime

Moses Suli scored St. George’s second try of the afternoon just before halftime

The 29-year-old gave the Dragons their first try of the afternoon when he tapped a short drop-out back into the hands of Talatau Amone and also failed to hit a ball from a penalty kick with play tied.

Amone’s 18th minute try and one stroke of half time against Moses Suli were enough to bring the Dragons home.

Xavier Savage scored in the first half for Canberra and Hudson Young made it 12-10 in the 54th minute.

The Dragons moved up to eighth with the win, four points ahead of the Raiders

The Dragons moved up to eighth with the win, four points ahead of the Raiders

Wighton’s mistakes were costly to Canberra’s hopes of a winner, but they got one last crack in the Dragons line, only for Hunt and Bird to slow down Tapine and kill the game.

‘I was a little worried when I jumped on him’ [Starling]Hunt said.

“I was half panicked, I was the left half and I was tackling on the right, so I had to do something. I was pretty glad it didn’t explode.’

A thigh injury to Mat Feagai was the only concern for the Dragons, who face Brisbane next Sunday.

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