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Ball boy error costs Eels

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August 16, 2014 09:41:06 UK

Brad Arthur was angry after his Eels side were denied a chance to beat the Bulldogs.

Coach Brad Arthur was fuming after seeing his Parramatta Eels side denied a late chance to beat the Bulldogs.

Trailing 18-16 with two minutes left, the Eels were in a great position after Chris Sandow booted a 40-20.

But after Vai Toutai threw the ball in for Sandow to take a quick tap and score what would have been the match-winning try, the move was called back. Officials ruled a young ball boy had thrown the ball to Toutai instead of following the rule and placing it on the sideline for him to collect.

Arthur, whose side must now win their last three games to have any chance of a top-eight finish, called it “a stupid rule”.

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen players running down and getting the ball boy to throw it in and it’s play-on.

Brad Arthur

The coach said: “I don’t know how many times I’ve seen players running down and getting the ball boy to throw it in and it’s play-on.

“Vai actually passed the ball off the sideline. What more do they want us to do? Go up into the grandstand and pass it out of the grandstand?”

Co-captain Jarryd Hayne, who scored a try and set up Semi Radradra for one of his two, backed up his coach’s view.

“You put your hands up and scratch your head,” Hayne said. “The whole point of that rule is to make it faster. Vai was on the touchline. What do you expect of a ballboy who is probably 12 or 13 years old racing downfield?”

The Bulldogs, who are 1.33 to beat Wests Tigers, returned to form as they scored three first-half tries, with Greg Eastwood putting them ahead in the sixth minute.

Mitch Brown and Aiden Tolman went over within four minutes of each other just before the half-hour mark.

Hayne scored the Eels’ first try and Radradra added another just before the interval, though Sandow’s missed conversion was to prove crucial.

When Radradra scored again early in the second half it brought Parramatta within two points, but that was as close as they got.

The Bulldogs are 1.83 conceding an eight-point start against Wests Tigers.

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