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New rule avoids six again ‘travesty’

The South Sydney Rabbitohs hit back after a fast start from the Newcastle Knights but a captain‘s challenge has revealed a bizarre coincidence.The 2019 NRL Grand Final between the Sydney Roosters and Canberra Raiders was rocked by a six again controversy when, with less than 10 minutes going, referee Ben Cummins ruled six again, before…

The South Sydney Rabbitohs hit back after a fast start from the Newcastle Knights but a captain‘s challenge has revealed a bizarre coincidence.

The 2019 NRL Grand Final between the Sydney Roosters and Canberra Raiders was rocked by a six again controversy when, with less than 10 minutes going, referee Ben Cummins ruled six again, before correcting his call and making it last tackle.

The Raiders‘ Jack Wighton went to ground with the ball thinking he had a new set of six and then all hell broke loose.

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Funnily enough, a year on, on what should have been Grand Final day if not for the coronavirus suspension, with Cummins the referee, the Knights were attacking the line and the stage was set.

Passing across the field, the Rabbitohs‘ Campbell Graham touched the ball into Newcastle’s Kalyn Ponga with the ball going to ground.

Cummins called six again, but when the ball was picked up by the Knights‘ five-eight Kurt Mann from an off-side position, the referee blew a penalty.

The Knights‘ Mitchell Pearce challenged the call immediately.

Fox League‘s Greg Alexander said: “I thought Campbell Graham knocked it on”.

When it was confirmed, he added: “That was the end of the section, didn‘t matter what happened after that.”

“I don‘t want to say it but another six again moment for Ben Cummins,” Warren Smith said.

“The Knights signalling six again and as did Ben Cummins who signalled six again and then surely on the advice of the touch judge second guessed himself and changed his mind.”

Alexander replied: “So he knew Campbell Graham touched it because he signalled six again.”

“Six again, at ANZ Stadium, and it‘s Ben Cummins,” Smith summed up.

But luckily the captain‘s challenge was able to clear it up, with a Knights scrum rather than a Rabbitohs penalty.

“That‘s why the captain’s challenge has been a good thing to come into the game,” Alexander said.

Smith added: “That would have been a travesty there if that had gone against Newcastle.”

The Fox League commentators weren‘t the only ones who saw the parallel.

AAP sports reporter Scott Bailey tweeted: “Ben Cummins called six again at the southern end of ANZ Stadium on the first Sunday in October and then changed his mind. That rings a bell for some reason …”

News Corp reporter Steve Zemek added: “Ben Cummins making a dud six again call at ANZ Stadium on the first Sunday in October. Like clockwork”.

The Knights weren’t able to score off the advantage however, with Souths going to the break leading 20-14 after scoring four unanswered tries in response to Newcastle’s opening onslaught.

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