NRL confirms Storm dudded — twice
The NRL has confirmed to Melbourne Storm that one of its most experienced referees missed two crucial sin bin decisions.
Ashley Klein, who officiated Melbourne's qualifying final loss to Canberra Raiders on Saturday night at AAMI Park, could be sidelined for semi-final weekend as a result of the blunders.
Klein missed two professional fouls only seconds apart when Raiders Elliott Whitehead and Jarrod Croker brought down Ryan Papenhuyzen and Josh Addo-Carr respectively from illegal positions.
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NRL referees boss Bernard Sutton told Storm officials Whitehead should have been sent to the bin for taking out Papenhuyzen.
After missing the obvious call, Klein then erred from sin binning Croker for taking out Addo-Carr from an off-side position.
Storm football manager Frank Ponissi was reluctant to talk about the correspondnce with the NRL but urged fans to lay off the touch judge that incorrectly ruled Suliasi Vunivalu ïnto touch in the 79th minute.
"Yes it was an obvious bad error and whilst it did deny us an opportunity for one last shot we were behind 12-10 at the time with 80 seconds to play," Ponissi said.
"We need to put that into perspective.
"However, if we did have an issue it was the critical incident at the 47th minute mark after Addo-Carr's break where Papenhuyzen was tackled without the ball when supporting Olam.
"Two tackles later the Raiders made a tackle from an off-side position.
"We were in a try scoring opportunity on both occasions and at that the time we had all the momentum. It was a key moment."
"We can't feel sorry for ourselves," Ponissi said.
"We need to look at how we can improve as a team to be better than we were against the Raiders.
"That's all we are now concerned about."