Rugby League World Cup organisers won't overturn semi-final result for Tonga

Tonga shouldn't hold their breath for a late call-up to the Rugby League World Cup final against Australia next weekend.

It won't be happening.

Barrister Nalesoni Tupou petitioned RLWC2017 organisers and Rugby League International Federation on Tuesday, hoping to have Tonga's heart-breaking 20-18 semi-final loss to England reversed.

After the Mate Ma'a had scored three late tries, Australian referee Matt Cecchin denied them a fourth, ruling a knock-on in the game's final play, without referring the decision to TV officials.

RLWC2017 organisers have officially confirmed to 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."

With time running down, Tongan forward Andrew Fifita made a last-gasp lunge for the line, but had the ball dislodged from his grasp by a defender.

Fifita regathered the ball and touched down over the goal-line, but Cecchin ruled a knock-on.

Tongan fans have refused to accept that result in the days since, twice gathering in downtown Auckland to express their disappointment.

In his letter to the organisers, Mr Tupou urged them for a quick outcome, with the final scheduled for Brisbane on Saturday night.

"This is a very urgent matter, as the issue so far, up to now, and the decision that you need to make does and will affect the proposed final in Brisbane on Saturday," he wrote.

"Therefore, an immediate remedy needs to be delivered urgently, taking into account ... the failure of the referee to refer the matter to the video referee, the mental health issues of the referee, past and presence, [and the] previous history of disciplinary actions against the referee in his inability to avoid mistakes [sic]."

Meanwhile, the Tongan team, which defeated New Zealand, Scotland, Samoa and Lebanon on their way to the semis, has touched down on the Pacific island nation, where their campaign began a month ago.



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