Australia is claiming the world's first "own try" after a refereeing blunder led to North Harbour Rays forward Mitch Lewis touching down for the Sydney Stars in a National Rugby Championship match.
The Rays were defending their line at a ruck during the match at Sydney's Leichhardt Oval on Thursday evening when Lewis tore the ball free and placed it back on his own try line.
Referee Ian Smith, who was unsighted, consulted the TV official and prop Lewis was left dumbfounded when a try was awarded to the Stars rather than a five-metre scrum.
Smith watched back the footage of the incident along with the players and the supporters at the Leichhardt stadium, and left them all in a state of bemusement with his decision. The North Harbour players didn't know what to do such was their shock, and none of them complained to the referee even though his decision was horrendously wrong.
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One excuse should Smith choose to use one could bet that the top corner of the North Harbour Rays' shirt looks similar to the yellow jersey of the Sydney Stars, but that would be clutching at straws at best.
The howler did not prove decisive as the Stars turned out 49-40 winners for their first victory in their final match of the inaugural season, the try officially awarded to their hooker James Willan.