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Maxwell axed from NRL bunker for howler

NZN 9/06/2017 Matt Encarnacion

NRL bunker senior official Jared Maxwell has been dropped for the refereeing howler, which had wrongly awarded Akuila Uate a try in Manly's controversial win over Newcastle.

NRL referees boss Tony Archer said Maxwell had been stood down from his position for the rest of the round, after Uate was given a four-pointer in the Sea Eagles's on Friday night win over the Knights despite replays clearing showing he had dropped the ball.

"Jared won't be involved in any more games this weekend," Maxwell told ABC radio.

"He has to be accountable for what he did. He broke the process and the decision was wrong."

Uate was awarded the critical try midway through the second half by on-field referee Ashley Klein, despite his touch judge asking for the decision to be sent to the bunker.

Archer said that against video review system protocol, Maxwell had intervened and informed Klein that the try was good to be given.

Replays then showed Uate had lost possession over the line, before the Sea Eagles held off a fast-finishing Knights to claim a closely fought 18-14 win.

The incident is certain to raise questions over how often referees are advised by the bunker before opting to send the decision to be reviewed.

Knights coach Nathan Brown was at a loss to explain why Klein had chosen not to ask for a replay.

"You watch the TV and you watch the touch judge. That's why he stood back; he didn't go to the tryline; he stood back and told him," Brown said.

"You watch him (touch judge) mouth it out - 'just check the grounding'."

Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett admitted his team were lucky to escape with the two points, but claimed Uate was incorrectly robbed of a try moments earlier.

The former Knights' winger was denied a four-pointer after it was ruled he interfered with an airborne Brendan Elliot on a Blake Green kick that Uate chased down and scored from.

"Look, we were lucky. Some weeks you get them," Barrett said.

"I thought the try before it, when he ruled Choc interfered with the catcher, I thought that was a fair try. And then the other one, obviously, he dropped it. In the end, it was a bit even-stevens."

Uate insisted he should have been awarded both tries, including the match winner.

"I knew I couldn't get to the ball so I just went up for a contest. He touched it first, so I scored that try," he said of the first incident.

"I don't think it was a knock-on - the next one I scored. It looks loose, but I still had my hands on the ball. It was a try. I don't know what they're talking about."

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