Anyone with eyes and possibly a few Raiders fans without would be able to tell you without any shadow of a doubt: The damned ref called Six Again in the pivotal and now-infamous sequence of play during Sunday night’s NRL Grand Final. He may have been overruled by a fellow referee who verbally directed “five and last” afterwards, but the initial call was clearly Six Again, and that lead Canberra players to unwittingly give up possession, which in turn immediately resulted in the deciding go-ahead try to the Sydney Roosters. It’s clear as day that the call was initially Six Again. There’s no questioning it. Unless, of course, you’re the ref who happened to have made the call.
According to Raiders players, referee Ben Cummins, the bloke at the centre of the whole mess, told them quite adamantly that he never called Six Again in the immediate aftermath of the game.
Canberra co-captain Josh Hodgson told the Sydney Morning Herald that he quizzed Cummins about the call after the game, but the referee denied ever making the Six Again hand signal.
“I asked him about that. He said that he said five and last. He kept five and last in the air. That’s what he told me. I said to him ‘did you not call six again?’ And he said ‘no, I called five and last.'”
“I thought he (called six again) at the time. That’s why I asked him if he called six again and he said ‘no, I called five and last.'”
‘Course it’s a moot point really, because even though the eventual call of Five And Last was correct, the initial call from Cummins was very clearly Six Again, and that affected the Raiders play on the ensuing tackle.
It will sit as one of the most infamous moments of indecision in NRL history.
Here's how the Fox League commentary team reacted to #SixAgain
???? Watch live on Fox League NOW! pic.twitter.com/h1r6Wyqnlx
— FOX LEAGUE (@FOXNRL) October 7, 2019
That’s a Six Again wave. Whether old mate wants to admit it or not.
But ah well. “Congratulations” Chooks.