Rugby league legend Phil Gould has questioned the Bunker’s decision to sin bin Lachlan Miller after the fullback was given his marching orders for a professional foul.
With the Knights up 22-12 late in the game against the Dragons, Miller was sent from the field after he was judged to have tackled Talatau Amone without the ball.
It didn’t prove costly though, with Newcastle confirming a home semi final with a 32-12 victory.
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The incident saw Miller start tackling Amone just after he released the ball during an attacking raid. Tyrell Sloan then passed it back to him but Miller had his hands all over Amone.
Newcastle challenged the decision but wasn’t successful.
NRL great Brad Fittler described the decision as “harsh” while Gould wasn’t impressed.
“I don’t think that’s right, I think he was in the process of making the tackle,” he said on Nine’s coverage.
“Lachie Miller doesn’t know if he’s let this go or not. That’s a legitimate tackle, absolutely legitimate, and it’s not Lachie Miller’s fault that they threw the ball back to him.
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“That’s wrong, particularly now they’ve reviewed it, they should’ve admitted their mistake.”
Post-game, Gould doubled down.
“That is one of the most ridiculous decisions I’ve seen,” he said.
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Prop Jacob Saifiti started the party early for the Knights when he crashed through the Dragons’ defence with ease inside the first two minutes.
Enari Tuala then extended the lead after pushing through in support of Tyson Gamble, who broke the line.
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Ben Hunt then showed his class with a chip and chase to put his side on the board.
Greg Marzhew scored his 20th try of the season in the 31st minute to give the Knights a 16-6 lead at half-time.
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Newcastle’s dominance continued when Fa’amanu Brown went over straight after the break with Gould describing the Dragons’ defence as “feeble” on Nine’s coverage.
Dragons winger Mikaele Ravalawa gave his side a chance at 22-12 with a superb put down in the 67th minute.
Prop Blake Lawrie was also sin-binned moments later for a professional foul which led to a penalty goal.
Dominic Young then finished the game brilliantly with two spectacular put downs to seal a 32-12 win.
“What an absolute freak of nature,” Allana Ferguson said of Young’s tries.
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