Wakefield Trinity chief Chris Chester hit out at the “disgraceful” decision to allow a decisive hat-trick try for Liam Marshall to stand in their narrow 24-16 defeat to Wigan Warriors.
Two second-half tries from the Warriors proved key as Marshall scored straight from a 20-metre restart before Sam Powell sealed the visitors’ success late on.
The decision to award Marshall’s third score of the afternoon angered Trinity boss Chester who felt the four-pointer should have been chalked off.
The Wigan winger appeared to take the tap to begin the 20-metre restart a good few metres away from the centre of the 20-metre line.
The try put Wigan 18-12 up after the sides had been locked in a tight contest for nearly an hour.
Marshall pouched a kick in the in-goal and raced to take the tap before easing through the hosts’ defensive line and racing clear to score.
“I can cop a player being a metre away from the centre spot but when you are talking six or seven metres, I don’t know how many officials there is there,” vented a frustrated Chester.
“You have got a bloke behind the posts – I don’t know what his job is – you have got a referee that is on the spot and just let Liam Marshall tap it wherever he wanted.
“That is just a disgraceful call and the calls that you shouldn’t get wrong.
“There is a line there to tell you where to tap the ball.”
Wakefield were 12-0 behind after 30 minutes but tries from Jacob Miller and James Batchelor, along with two conversions from Danny Brough, pulled Trinity level.
Two tries from Marshall and a penalty and conversion from Zak Hardaker had put Wigan in the ascendancy.
Trinity’s only score of the second half was a well-taken try from Ben Jones-Bishop, from Morgan Escare’s kick. That was sandwiched between Marshall’s hat-trick score and Powell’s last-minute effort.
Wakefield travel to Warrington Wolves in their penultimate Super League game on Friday night.