NRL grand final: Phil Gould blows up in commentary at ‘stupid’ call in NRL Grand Final, Penrith vs South Sydney
Commentator Phil Gould lost his marbles at a refereeing decision in the NRL Grand Final and was once again the punching bag for fans.
Rugby league fans have once again got stuck into commentator Phil Gould for his antics behind the microphone during the NRL Grand Final.
In an epic season finale, Penrith triumphed 14-12 over South Sydney to win its first premiership since 2003.
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But a controversial refereeing decision midway through the game got “Gus” seriously fired up.
Panthers prop Spencer Leniu went to tackle Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds as he was kicking on the fifth tackle and the ball ricocheted off the prop and went into touch.
Referee Gerard Sutton initially ruled ‘six again’, allowing the Rabbitohs a new set of six because the ball touched an opposition player during the play.
But Penrith successfully asked for a captain’s challenge and the decision was called back, due to the fact the Leniu had touched the ball off a kick, rather than off a pass or in general play.
Gould was furious at the decision, labelling the call “stupid” and a “technicality”.
“If you pass it into him, it is six again,” he said in commentary on Channel 9.
“How can it be any difference if you kick it? If he was passing that ball it would be six again.
“It is the stupidity in the rules, and absolute stupidity in the rules, and it is a technicality that you don’t want to be bringing out now.
“If he passed the ball into his arm, making a tackle, it is six again.
“The fact he has kicked it, it is still got to be six again if he is trying to pressure the kick, surely he is playing at the ball.
“Penrith get the advantage, but that is a stupid rule, a stupid interpretation of it.”
Gould was clearly unimpressed with the interpretation of the rule and his repetitive use of the word “stupid” didn’t go unnoticed by viewers, who had an absolute field day.
“Wish I backed the overs for the use of the word “Stupid” during the broadcast,” sports presenter Nick Quinn tweeted.
“Repeating the word stupid just doesn’t help me feel the feels,” sports broadcaster Katie Brown said.
“Please stop. TIA”
“I think the commentators thought that call was stupid,” comedian Titus O’Reilly said tongue-in-cheek.
But some did agree Gould had a point about the application of the six again rule.
“Phil Gould isn’t wrong that’s an utterly “stupid rule” giving a big advantage to @PenrithPanthers,” news and sports editor Paul Johnson tweeted.
However, that wasn’t the only aspect of Gould’s commentary fans blew up at.
The 63-year-old, who is a former coach and general manager of Penrith, has often been accused of blatant bias towards his former club.
He came under fire in last year’s Grand Final for suggesting in commentary the Panthers were “on top” against the Melbourne Storm, despite being trailing 16-0 in the first half.
Fans were quick to remind Gould of his allegiance to Penrith and they weren’t afraid to have a dig at the quality of his commentary either.
“Phil Gould will have to remember there’s no Queensland tonight or Melbourne Storm playing,” former AFL player Corey McKernan tweeted, referencing Gould’s tendency to barrack for New South Wales in State of Origin.
“Usual biased commentary from Phil Gould,” former sports journalist Richard Hinds said.
“It’s as if the Storm aren’t even playing.”
Titus O’Reilly added: “Phil Gould thinks the second half could be important. He’s a student of the game.”