Wests Tigers v Cowboys, penalty, video, replay, kick-off, controversy, Kyle Feldt, score

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By Emily Patterson and Damien McCartney

The penalty that led to the Cowboys stealing victory from Wests Tigers after the siren has left the NRL world in shock.

The Tigers looked to have secured the upset of the season when they held a 26-25 lead in the dying seconds, but a captain’s challenge from the Cowboys turned the match on its head.

As the Cowboys opted for a short kick-off with one second on the clock, the ball travelled too deep, allowing the Tigers to gain possession and go to ground.

At that point, it looked as though the game was over, but the Cowboys challenged an escort, claiming winger Kyle Feldt had been taken out by Asu Kepaoa.

The Bunker pored over footage and deemed that Feldt had been denied an opportunity to contend for the ball, opening the door for Valentine Holmes to slot a penalty goal after the siren and clinch victory for North Queensland.

“I still don’t think it’s a penalty,” Billy Slater said on Nine’s coverage.

Andrew Johns agreed.

“It’s not a penalty at all. No way it’s a penalty,” the rugby league Immortal said.

Holmes kicked truly from about 25 metres out to snatch a 27-26 victory for the Cowboys and shatter the hearts of Tigers supporters.

Fans, journalists and former players did not hold back from tearing the Bunker to shreds on social media.

In the absence of both Brett Kimmorley and Tim Sheens due to positive COVID-19 tests, it was left to assistant coach Ben Gardiner to attend the press conference.

Gardiner described the ending “a moment of elation and a moment of deflation”.

“My understanding is that when the Bunker comes into play, or when there’s a challenge made, it has to be when there’s an indiscretion in the play, or there’s a breakdown of the play,” Gardiner added.

“My understanding is we caught the ball, the game was over and that’s where it should have ended.

“But you know, at the end of the day, that’s the decision that was made.

“I’ve been around coaching for a long time and you know you can get upset and you can complain and all those sorts of things, but it doesn’t change anything.”

Cowboys coach Todd Payten was coy, but said he believed his side might have got away with luck.

“If I look back at the season gone so far, we had a try taken off us last week which was huge, and even back in round one Hamiso (Tabuai-Fidow) got a try taken off him with a couple of minutes to go that cost us the game,” Payten said.

“So (I) guess what goes around comes around, and we got one tonight.”

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