At the end of the drama, the Broncos have left the Brisbane clash with a 37-18 win that’s put a huge dent in the Cowboys’ finals chances.
Referee Chris Sutton awarded Feldt his second try of his 150th NRL game after the veteran tore through to pounce on a Scott Drinkwater grubber in the 62nd minute, but the Bunker stripped him of the four-pointer after deeming he had knocked the ball on.
Controversially, it was only when the Bunker slowed down the footage to an extremely low speed that the officials could determine that Feldt had failed to ground the ball cleanly.
If the try hadn’t been taken away and Drinkwater had slotted the conversion, the Cowboys would have cut the deficit to 28-24.
Instead, the no-try ruling sparked a giant swing of momentum as the Broncos added a penalty goal, a field goal and a converted try, leaving the Cowboys languishing in 14th on the ladder, two wins outside the top eight.
“That’s a shame,” Vautin said on Nine’s coverage.
“They’ve slowed it down and you can just see for a fraction, for a millisecond, one millimetre, his hands weren’t (on the ball). I’d love to see that in real time.
“Honestly, it’s a frame-by-framer … to try to find how that’s not a try. It’s a try! It’s a try!”
Commentator Peter Psaltis added: “Can someone check on Gus (Phil Gould) at home?”
Vautin continued his rage.
“Ah, he’d be going nuts,” Vautin said.
“He’d be in a foetal position under his bed.”
Rugby league legend Billy Slater added: “The game’s not played in slow-mo.”
Payten said in his post-match press conference that the ruling had baffled him.
“I think it hurt us. I was sitting in the box dumbfounded. But the call was made and we’ve just got to deal with it and move on,” Payten said.
“Momentum was in our favour. It would have been a different context to the game (if the try had been allowed).”
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