The controversial Bunker left a stain on another game on Thursday night when the Eels were stripped of a try in their 36-14 defeat to the Broncos.
As the Eels attempted to reel in the Broncos in the second half at Sydney’s CommBank Stadium, referee Gerard Sutton awarded a try to centre Waqa Blake on the left edge.
But Bunker official Chris Butler stepped in and, after combing through vision of Parramatta forward Makahesi Makatoa bowling over Brisbane playmaker Adam Reynolds, scratched the four-pointer.
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“I don’t think he was going to have any influence on the play at all,” Johnathan Thurston said of Reynolds on Nine’s post-match coverage.
“So, too smart, and got one over the Bunker there. That’s the shame about the Bunker.”
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Brad Fittler labelled the no-try decision “hilarious”.
“I disagree with that,” Billy Slater said of the Bunker’s ruling at the time of the no-try call.
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“I’m with you, Billy,” Cameron Smith added.
“You see the movement of Adam Reynolds. He stands squarely in front of the attacking player of Parramatta and he hits him square on.
“That’s a tough one for Parramatta.”
Eels skipper Clint Gutherson was spotted having a long chat with Sutton after the game, which he revealed on Nine’s coverage was about the Bunker’s no-try call.
“It was a defensive read from (Reynolds) and I was disappointed they took it away from us,” Gutherson said.
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“They obviously saw differently in the Bunker, but I was just trying to get an explanation. (Sutton) said it was a try and I just couldn’t see why they took it off us.”
Reynolds refused to accept he was lucky when quizzed in the Broncos’ post-game press conference.
“I set myself pretty tight to obviously get myself in front of that lead runner. He was a big body so I needed to get myself in front of him and then tried to check and release, so I got bumped,” Reynolds said.
“It’s a part of the rules.
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“They threw a fair bit at us in that second half, so pleasing they only got the one try but obviously still a bit work on.”
Although a successful Mitchell Moses conversion would have reduced the deficit to 30-20, the Broncos led 36-14 when Reynolds crossed for a try and converted about 10 minutes later.
The result budged the Broncos into fourth on the ladder and knocked the Storm down to fifth.
In a blow to the Eels’ top-four pursuit in their bid for a drought-breaking premiership, Parramatta slipped to sixth.
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