Pacific Championship 2023: Phil Gould slams ‘disgraceful’ bunker call no one asked for, Sua Fa’alogo, try, video

Channel 9 commentator Phil Gould has slammed the bunker after Samoa were denied a brilliant try against Australia.

Australia blew the Samoans off the park, leading 22-0 after 15 minutes, all but deciding the game in the opening quarter of the match.

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But Samoa put in an admirable performance for the rest of the match, eventually going down 38-12.

It could have been so much better however after Storm rookie Sua Fa’alogo appeared to have scored the best try of the match.

After a ball was forced out the back for some messy second phase play, the ball came out to makeshift five-eighth Stephen Crichton who turned the ball back on the inside to Fa’alogo.

Still 40m out, Fa’alogo burst into the space before chipping for himself and scoring what appeared to be a brilliant try.

“What a try, what a talent,” Mat Thompson said on Channel 9 commentary.

Phil Gould and Andrew Johns agreed it was “special”.

On Fox Sports, Greg Alexander said it was “unbelievable”.

But despite no one seeming to claiming any issues in the back play, bunker official Ashley Klein made himself known when the call was referred.

“Here come the fun police,” Gould said.

In what could have been a line ball call, Keenan Palasia dropped the ball, despite facing his own line, with the ball touching Pat Carrigan’s head.

Andrew Johns argued that Cameron Murray had knocked the ball out.

But as the commentary box was left in disbelief over the call, Gould was fuming.

“Take a night off will you,” he said. “No one comes to the football to watch that.

“We don’t want to know how good the bunker can be with its X-ray vision.

“That’s disgraceful, that’s absolutely disgraceful.

“We don’t watch the game to see how well the bunker can define the stats.

“It just vanishes into the ether now. It could have been a magic memory in this young man’s career and a wonderful thing for international sport. It would have been on the highlights reel on tonight’s news and everywhere. Instead, the bunker grabs out a magnifying glass and finds a way to kill it.”

On the other side however, Fox League’s Andrew Voss said that Klein was “almost apologetic” for enforcing the rules.

Plenty of fans seemed to agree, but plenty more said it pointed to the star power of Fa’alogo.

Fa’alogo had a great performance with a team-high 164 run metres from 17 runs, as well as a line break and line break assist.

While the result was not as competitive as many would have hoped from the 2022 World Cup finalists, pre-match there were some emotional scenes that show just how important the international game is to rugby league.

As Lapi Marina belted out a wonderful rendition of the Samoan National Anthem Sāmoa Tulaʻi the pride of representing their ancestors was clear.

As the anthem began, Cowboys second rower Luciano Leilua was clearly fighting back the emotions, while cameras also found Dolphins forward Connolly Lemuelu, who had tears streaming down his cheeks.

From there, the Samoan team delivered a spine-tingling Sivi Tau war dance.

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