While England players were adamant they were denied a final minute try that would have tied up their Four Nations rugby league match against Australia their coach Steve McNamara wasn’t so sure.
The Kangaroos triumphed at AAMI Park 16-12 to avoid elimination from the tournament but England winger Ryan Hall almost levelled the match with seconds remaining.
Hall, who had scored earlier as England took a 12-4 halftime lead, looked to have dived over the top of Greg Inglis to get a finger to a grubber kick in-goal.
Video referee Bernard Hopkins ruled there wasn’t downward pressure, with disappointed prop James Graham telling on-field referee Gerard Sutton: “That was a f***ing try”.
McNamara wasn’t convinced.
“The referee on the field gave no try and the evidence has to be conclusive and whether that was or not I’m not 100 per cent sure,” he said.
He said Hall didn’t “over-celebrate” because he was worried it may had been called a knock-on and then no goal-line drop out to give his team one last crack.
The result meant England still haven’t beaten Australia since 1995, but McNamara felt they had the right game plan.
They can still oust the Kangaroos from the tournament if they beat New Zealand in Dunedin next Saturday with their points differential superior to Australia, who face Samoa in Wollongong on Sunday.
“I thought we played well,” McNamara said.
“We really wanted to throw something at Australia and we did that in the first half.
“We were resilient and dug deep but unfortunately we couldn’t get any good ball sets in the second half we prevented us from scoring any more points.”