Rugby League World Cup organisers won’t reverse Tonga’s semifinal loss to England

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Police escorting a bus carrying some of the Mate Ma'a Tonga team travelling from Fu'amotu International Airport to Nuku'alofa this evening. Photo/Kaniva News

The Rugby League World Cup organisers have denied a Tongan barrister’s  request for them to reverse a decision by its referee who was in control of Tonga – England semi final match on Saturday.

RLWC2017 organisers have officially confirmed to New Zealand’s Newshub they received the lawyer’s letter, but won’t be changing their stance on the result.

“The knock-on ruling has been reviewed by our officiating unit as part of the performance review of referees in all matches of the RLWC and the decision made by the referee was correct,” said the statement.

“No further action or investigation is required.”

Lawyer Nalesoni Tupou petitioned RLWC organisers and Rugby League International Federation in a bid to get Tonga’s agonising 20-18 semifinal loss to England overturned, Fairfax Media reported.

As Kaniva News reported, Referee Matt Cecchin disallowed the last minute try, which would have given Tonga victory and secured their place in the Rugby League World Cup final against Australia in Brisbane this Sunday.

World Rugby League Cup referees’ boss Tony Archer earlier defended the decision.

Archer said referees were encouraged to make their decisions on the field and claimed that even he had looked at video the decision would have been the same.

The controversy had triggered an outrage from Tongan supporters who described it as a “disgraceful decision.”

Meanwhile, Cecchin has been overlooked as referee for the Rugby League World Cup final with Gerard Sutton getting the nod.

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