'Cannot do that': Andrew Johns' fury over NRL grand final 'shocker'

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·5-min read
Andrew Johns, pictured here in commentary for Channel Nine.
Andrew Johns was gobsmacked by what he was seeing in the NRL grand final. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Andrew Johns was left gobsmacked in commentary during the NRL grand final when the Panthers were awarded a try after a clear obstruction.

With the Panthers trailing 26-0 in the second-half of Sunday night’s clash with the Melbourne Storm, they finally got on the board when Isaah Yeo produced a perfect kick for Brian To’o to score.

‘SHAME’: Fury over 'disgusting' Cameron Smith moment

WOW: Phil Gould's defiant response to 'disgraceful' commentary

The only problem was Yeo had run around the back of teammate Kurt Capewell and caused an obstruction.

Despite fans and commentators believing it was a clear-cut no try, the Bunker awarded it and the Panthers were back in the game.

Isaah Yeo, pictured here before Penrith's controversial try in the NRL grand final.
Isaah Yeo ran around his teammate before kicking. Image: Channel Nine

“Everyone who knows the game knows that is not a try,” Johns said in commentary for Channel Nine.

“You cannot do that. Cannot run behind one of your own players and take advantage.

“They don’t understand what happens with putting a question mark to the defence, the defence solves it.

“He runs behind the back of his play. This is an out-and-out obstruction.”

Phil Gould agreed, saying: “The Bunker is wrong because Yeo has clearly run behind Capewell. He knows he’s run behind Capewell.

“That’s why he kicked it. He knew he was going to get penalised.

“The Bunker has it wrong. They don’t know the rules. They don’t know the fabric of the game.”

Johns said Yeo knew he was in the wrong and decided to kick the ball because he would have been penalised if he kept running.

“Yeo gets the ball, there is a few options,” Johns said.

“One is to run himself, one to play the short ball, one to play out the back.

“He put that problem to the Storm defence and they’ve solved the problem, so then he double dips and runs behind his own player.”

Fans and fellow commentators also blew up on social media.

Horror first half haunts Penrith in grand final

In the end it didn’t matter as Penrith’s first-half came back to haunt them, losing 26-20.

Penrith coach Ivan Cleary struggled to explain his team’s horror start, but was adamant his selection gamble wasn’t a factor in it.

Having risen to each occasion in their electric run to Sunday's NRL decider, the exuberant Panthers suffered stage fright on their way to slumping to a 26-0 hole after 47 minutes.

The minor premiers eventually rallied to dramatically get within one try at the death, however in the end they were made to pay for letting the Storm thunder out to an unassailable lead.

Cleary denied his side felt the burn under the bright lights.

“I don't think we were overawed,” he said.

“You have seen right through the semi-finals series that teams haven't been perfect. In grand finals that happens a lot. I wouldn't have looked at us in the first half and said we were overawed.

Melbourne Storm players, pictured here celebrating with the NRL premiership trophy.
Melbourne Storm players celebrate with the NRL premiership trophy. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

“They took their opportunities and we didn't.”

Two of Melbourne's opportunities came down the Panthers' right edge, where Cleary again promoted utility Tyrone May to the centres at the expense of Brent Naden.

May gave away a penalty try for the opening points in the first half, before Ryan Papenhuyzen sliced through a gap between May and Nathan Cleary for the first try of the second half.

Naden spent the majority of the regular season in the backline, but was shuffled out prior to last week's preliminary final triumph over South Sydney and was again benched against the Storm due to defensive issues.

By the time he was injected into the game in the second half, the Storm were ahead four tries to none.

“I thought he played really well. Really well,” Cleary said of Naden's second-half cameo.

“Those are the decisions you make, I was happy with how that went. I always thought he could add something at the back end of the game ... disappointing that it was 26-0 at that stage.”

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.