Video: Love RL discuss controversial “try or no try” moment in Challenge Cup final

James Roby of St Helens scores in the final at Wembley

Try or no try? Editors James Gordon and Drew Darbyshire discuss James Roby’s controversial try in the Challenge Cup final.

St Helens turned around a 12-6 deficit at half-time to win 26-12 against Castleford to clinch the Challenge Cup for the first time in 13 years at Wembley on Saturday.

It was a classic cup final with plenty of passion and pride on show, amid some controversy too.

The Tigers led at the break, but Saints drew level two minutes after the second half restart.

Mark Percival was the first to reach a high kick into the corner from Lachlan Coote and, after the ball bounced very close to the touchline, Regan Grace passed it back inside to captain James Roby who then went over.

Video referee Chris Kendall agreed with Liam Moore’s on-field decision that it was a legitimate try, with Super League champions Saints then going on to win the game.

On the try, Love RL deputy editor Drew Darbyshire said: “First thing is first, I think it was a try. I think the video referee was correct to award James Roby with his first try of the season and what an important try it was.

“I didn’t see anything wrong with Mark Percival’s knock back to Regan Grace, I thought it was still in the field of play when the ball bounced back. I didn’t see anything wrong with it. Ultimately, it was the correct decision.”

Editor James Gordon replied: “With where the ball bounced, that was fine, with the Percival knock, that was fine, I could see why people question mark it but the main thing was with the Grace knock back because it split opinion, with people saying he was in touch and other saying he wasn’t.

“The best way that I could describe to the naked eye was that he looked out. He put his foot on the touchline and then he jumped and knocked the ball in play. Technically he was in play. I thought it was a try, I thought it was the right decision was made.”

Meanwhile in the 1895 Cup final, Featherstone ran-out 41-34 winners against York at Wembley.

About Drew Darbyshire 8350 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.


  1. It’d help Drew Darbyshire’s argument if he knew the rules wouldn’t it? Even if he doesn’t think it’s a knock on or touched the touch line, Grace still jumped from out of play which means the moment he touches the ball, the ball is also considered out of play. James Gordon ALMOST got it right but again was ultimately, wrong.

    It’s one of the all time worst video referee decisions.

    • You could see when Grace jumped his left foot which was on the line(out of play) went into the air but his right foot was in the field of play was still on the ground which put him back in to the field of play hence the try was a correct decision.

  2. As already pointed out, the 2 journos need to learn the rules.
    If you want it in plain language, listen to Brian Noble’s comments and I think he has a bit more knowledge than those 2.
    Saying that it was given as a try so it doesn’t matter is just ignoring biased officiating.

  3. It’s strange isn’t it that all controversial decisions seem to go in favour of St Helens and Wigan. UMMM.
    There is general issue – why are St Helens not penalised at nearly every tackle whereby once a tackle has been made some other team member falls on the back of the tackler so that the opposition cannot make a quick play the ball? It is so blatantly obvious what St Helens are doing so why is it allowed? Next time St Helens are on TV just watch and you will see what I mean.

  4. Once upon a time if a player made a decision to leave the field of play, that player then had to ask permission from the referee to re-enter the field of play.
    Grace stepped out of the field of play away from his college who had jumped to try and regain the ball kicked towards their side of the pitch. By stepping backward out of the field of play Grace gave himself a better ‘perspective / advantage’ of not being too close to his team mate and the BALL. By stepping backwards, Grace had given himself more space and time to assess the situation. Hence an advantage. If Grace had stay in the field of play he realised he would have been too close to the players jumping for the ball which could have ricocheted anywhere.
    So by stepping out of play Grace gained an advantage.
    A player with the ball runs down the touch line. Confronted with the opposition fullback he kicks the ball over the fullbacks head then steps out of play over the touch line. Runs outside the touch line past the fullback and renters the field of play. Collects the ball and scores a try.

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