Commentator Phil Gould lost his marbles in a refereeing decision in the NRL Grand Final and was once again the punching bag for fans.
Rugby league fans are once again captivated by commentator Phil Gould for his antics behind the mic during the NRL Grand Final.
In an epic season finale, Penrith triumphed 14-12 over South Sydney to win his first premiership since 2003.
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But a controversial decision by the referee halfway through the game got “Gus” seriously activated.
Panthers prop Spencer Leniu was going to tackle Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds when he kicked on the fifth tackle and the ball bounced off the prop and hit out.
Referee Gerard Sutton initially ruled “six again”, giving the Rabbitohs another set of six because the ball hit an opponent during play.
But Penrith successfully requested a captaincy match and the decision was reversed, as Leniu had hit the ball from a kick rather than a pass or in general play. Had Leniu’s ball bounced off a pass while he was making a tackle, the Rabbitohs would have gotten six more tackles, but it was a different story with a kick.
Gould was furious at the decision, labeling the call “stupid” and a “technical one”.
“If you pass it on to him, it’ll be six again,” he said in a commentary to Channel 9.
“How can there be any difference when you kick it? If he passed that ball, it would be six again.
“It’s the stupidity in the rules, an absolute stupidity in the rules, and it’s a technical detail that you don’t want to bring out now.
“If he passed the ball in his arm and made a tackle, it’s six again.
“The fact that he kicked the kicker, it must still be six when he tries to pressure the kicker, he is definitely playing for the ball.
“Penrith gets the advantage, but that’s a stupid rule, a stupid interpretation of it.”
Gould was clearly unimpressed with the line’s interpretation and his repeated use of the word “dumb” did not go unnoticed by viewers, who had an absolute field day.
“I wish I supported the overs for using the word ‘stupid’ during the broadcast,” tweeted sports host Nick Quinn.
“Repeating the word stupid just doesn’t help me feel the feelings,” said sports channel Katie Brown. “Please stop. TIA”
“I think the commentators thought that call was stupid,” comedian Titus O’Reilly said ironically.
Football host Adam Peacock tweeted: “Wasn’t it a stupid rule 6 months ago and maybe a bit stupid not to change it then?”
However, that wasn’t the only aspect of Gould’s commentary that blew fans.
The 63-year-old, 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 that the Panthers were “on top” against the Melbourne Storm, despite trailing 16-0 in the first half.
Fans were quick to remind Gould of his loyalty to Penrith, and they weren’t afraid to appreciate the quality of his commentary, either.
“Phil Gould will have to remember there is no Queensland or Melbourne Storm playing tonight,” tweeted former AFL player Corey McKernan, referring to Gould’s propensity for going to New South Wales in his state of origin.
“Usual biased commentary from Phil Gould,” said former sportswriter Richard Hinds.
“It’s like the Storm isn’t even playing.”