‘Embarrassing for the game’: NRL obstruction farce exposed once again as Dylan Edwards runs into Jared Waerea-Hargreaves

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The NRL’s obstruction furore is set to fire up for another week after a wild decision stripped the Roosters of a near certain try against the Panthers.

Despite being without Nathan Cleary, the Panthers didn’t miss a step, racing to a 12-0 lead after 16 minutes before the Roosters replied.

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Taking advantage of a crusher penalty to push into the Panthers’ 20m zone, the Roosters put the ball through the hands with Joseph Manu crashing over.

While it looked like a try, Fox League’s Andrew Voss believed the only issue may have been the grounding for Manu as he was flipped into an awkward position to ground the ball.

But when referee Adam Gee blew time off, he was instead looking at an obstruction in the background.

As the ball shifted to the edge, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves had run decoy, running all the way through the line to the in-goal back near the posts.

It gave Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards the perfect opportunity, running directly into the Roosters forward.

Now Edwards is quick but it’s hard to believe he would have made that much ground, but after a week where the NRL debated Manly’s Jake Trbojevic’s obstruction when he stopped in the line against Parramatta last week only for Luka Moretti to seemingly seek him out for a collision, the Panthers fullback seemingly took the furore to the next level.

Bunker official Chris Butler denied the try, saying: “We have the lead run of Jared. He’s required to stop prior to interfering with any defenders.

“At this point, he stops Dylan Edwards from being able to slide and assist in defending this play which is an obstruction.”

On Channel 9, Billy Slater said: “So he hasn’t obstructed the defensive line, he’s obstructed the fullback.”

He then threw to obstruction critic Phil Gould, who held his tongue — for now at least.

“I anticipated when we got here tonight we might see some wow moments,” Gould said. “I was thinking we it would come from the players.

“But every now and then the Bunker gives us one. Wow! Just wow.”

On Fox League, Voss didn’t hold back.

“Rubbish, rubbish. He’s run to the in-goal — how far through the line … do they want him to run to Randwick? How far’s he got to run? C’mon,” he said.

Michael Ennis added: “They just continue to look to take tries away.”

But Voss wasn’t done.

“Surely Edwards dodges him there,” he said. “That can’t be what the rule has been written for.”

Voss appeared to say it was even worse than the Jake Trbojevic obstruction from last week as Waerea-Hargreaves was well through the line.

He also asked: “Where can it be that a defender actually takes an attacker out? Isn’t that what Edwards was doing there? If the ball came back the other way, would they penalise Edwards for taking out the player without the ball?”

And the fans were in agreement, taking aim at the decision.

“Penrith fan has to step around a chair in Row 23 … OBSTRUCTION PENALTY!!!” one fan said.

WWOS’s The Mole said: “Bunker has lost it … totally … just looking for c**p ways to take away tries.”

Former NRL social media and content guy Reece Carter posted: “Any common sense left these days!? FMD”.

Another fan posted: “More of a cheap shot on JWH by Edward’s then an obstruction don’t know what the bunker is watching in some of these games.”

Another wrote: “That obstruction call will take some beating this season. Embarrassing for the game.”

Another commented: “You reap what you sow with this s**tty obstruction rule, two weeks in a row we see defenders deliberately run into an attacker, nowhere near the ball, no chance of stopping a try but hey B & W rule and what do we expect? Abuse of this rule will only get worse, already farcical.”

The Panthers kicked further ahead with a penalty goal to go up 14-0 after 32 minutes.

But the Roosters got on the board right before the half when Sitili Tupouniua won the chase for a kick, grounding the ball just inside the deadball line.

It was 14-6 at halftime.

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