David Klemmer caught out by NRL fans for dubious Clint Gutherson moment in Tigers win

Gutherson's missed kick after the final siren saw the Tigers claim back-to-back wins.

David Klemmer has come under scrutiny from NRL fans after being called out over a contentious moment in the final seconds of the Wests Tigers' thrilling one-point win over Parramatta on Easter Monday. Aidan Sezer's late field goal lifted the Tigers to a 17-16 upset win, with Clint Gutherson missing a penalty kick after the siren to win it for the Eels at CommBank Stadium.

Sezer's go-ahead field goal broke the deadlock in the last minute of a pulsating contest, with the Eels then awarded a penalty of the restart when Jahream Bula knocked the ball on and Isaiah Papali'i picked it up in an off-side position. That gave Gutherson the chance to slot a match-winning penalty from a tricky angle several metres in from touch.

Pictured left is Tigers forward David Klemmer distracting Eels captain Clint Gutherson on a penalty kick.
Tigers forward David Klemmer's actions towards Eels captain Clint Gutherson were called out by NRL fans. Pic: Getty

Klemmer was the closest Tigers player to Gutherson when he set up for the shot at goal, standing in between the Eels captain and the goalposts. Just before Gutherson kicked the ball Klemmer could be seen jumping up in the air in a clear attempt to distract the Parramatta skipper, in a move that raised eyebrows across the NRL world.


The rules state that an opposition player can't distract a kicker before he's about to take a shot at goal, with many viewers insisting Klemmer should have been penalised for his actions or Gutherson afforded another kick. When the penalty attempt sailed wide, Klemmer could be seen getting struck into Gutherson for the miss, with the actions of the Tigers forward called out by NRL fans afterwards.

NRL fans call out David Klemmer actions against Eels

Benji Marshall era rolls on at Tigers in second straight win

Tigers coach Benji Marshall - who's copped plenty of criticism for his style of coaching in his first season in charge - praised his side's resilience in the nail-biting win. The back-to-back wooden spooners fought off an Eels onslaught in the first half and the second half sin-binning of young five-eighth Lachlan Galvin in the second half, to come back from 14-6 down late on and snatch the win.

Seen here, Wests Tigers star Lachlan Galvin against the Eels in the NRL.
Lachlan Galvin was a standout in the Tigers' win but faces a two-game ban for a hip-drop tackle. Pic: Getty

Galvin and veteran halves partner Sezer were both outstanding for the Tigers, with the 18-year-old five-eighth setting up the side's first try with a brilliant grubber for Justin Olam. However, Galvin's hip-drop tackle on Kelma Tuilagi earnt him 10 minutes in the bin and slapped with a dangerous contact charge that comes with a two-game ban.

The teenager playmaker made amends when he came back on the field though, giving the Tigers a 16-14 lead when he burst through Blaize Talagi on the left edge and found a flying Jahream Bula to score under the posts. A Gutherson penalty from in front of the posts locked up the scores, before Sezer's heroics and the Eels skipper's late miss settled the contest.

It was the type of game that had so often ended in defeat for the Tigers in the past, but Marshall said he was only interested in talking about his current side and the positive signs they're showing under the first-year head coach. "It's probably the most resilient performance we've had in a Tigers jersey for a long time," Marshall said.

"We don't care about what happened last year or the year before. We're on the 'now train'. Moving forward, we need to be better than we were today for where we want to go. There's still a lot of improvement in us." Eels coach Brad Arthur suggested his side just didn't want it as much as the Tigers. "The last couple of weeks we've built our game about being tough and rolling the sleeves up," Arthur said. "I don't know if we wanted to do that as much as they wanted to today."

with AAP