Penrith’s thrilling 12-10 victory over Melbourne Tonight was not without controversy after the Storm appeared to miss a penalty, which would have given them a chance to level the scores in the closing seconds of the game.
With less than a minute to go, Melbourne was forced to kick off after conceding a try to Panthers back rower Kurt Capewell, who had just passed to put the Panthers in front.
Melbourne went with the short kickoff, which landed over the header of Panthers center Stephen Crichton who knocked the ball over on Mitch Kenny, who made contact with the ball in what appeared to be a off-side.
Penrith immediately called for the captain’s challenge following the knock-on field decision, but their review failed.
But with reruns appearing to show Kenny in an offside position as the ball hit him, rugby league great Billy Slater was stunned that the video referee didn’t pick him up.
Slater said it looked like there was an “obvious offside” that had been missed, which would have given the Storm the chance to give a penalty to tie the game.
“They usually take this through the video referee,” Slater told Nine.
“It’s an obvious offside – Crichton obviously touches the ball, then Mitch Kenny takes it offside.
“You see the ball spinning back from Stephen Crichton’s hand and Kenny’s in front of him over there.
Justin Olam is held back in a thrilling last-ditch effort by the storm
“It could easily have been a penalty and Melbourne could have chosen to take the two points and level the game.”
“Obviously Craig Bellamy thought it was a penalty and he was asking his team to take up the captain’s challenge.”
Storm coach Craig Bellamy admitted he thought Kenny appeared to be offside, but chose not to go too far into the game.
“I thought there was a chance it was an offside,” he told reporters after the game.
“Apparently it must have come loose from them and within us. I haven’t seen him too many times.
“At the end of the day it was the roll call and there’s not much you can do about it now.