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Panthers coach Ivan Cleary will submit a formal response to the NRL after he was fined $20,000 for his claims on Saturday night that match officials had "managed" the Raiders back into their contest.

"I will be submitting a formal response to the NRL breach notice I was issued earlier today," he said in a statement issued by Penrith on Monday afternoon.

"While that process runs its course, I wish to clarify it was never my intention to question the integrity of the referees.

"I will not be commenting further on this matter until it is finalised."

Cleary was alluding a series of decisions in the second half in his post-match comments but all three were correct, according to NRL head of football Graham Annesley in his weekly briefing on Monday.

Cleary fined $20,000 for spray, while NRL warns bubble bursters

Following his team's win over Canberra, Cleary said "it felt like they were being managed back into the game" after three moments - two involving Jordan Rapana and a try to Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad.

However, Annesley was adamant each call by referee Gerard Sutton and NRL Bunker officials Steve Chiddy and Bryan Norrie were fair decisions.

"Our officials are out there doing the absolute best they can," Annesley said.

"At times comments are made before the opportunity to review them. What I will say to all clubs is they should take the time and make sure their comments are as accurate as they can possibly be."

Panthers: Round 13

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The NRL announced Cleary's sanction on Monday just minutes before ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys and NRL CEO Andrew Abdo were due to front the media to confirm Tamworth would host a fixture in round 16. 

"I am disappointed that a person in a leadership position within our game has made comments that question the integrity of our officials," Abdo said.

"Our leaders should be professional and set the standard for our game.

"Comments like this will not be tolerated. The foundation of our competition is its integrity and Ivan’s comments undermined that.

"At times our officials, like players, will make errors during games. Everyone is entitled to their opinion on those individual decisions, but we will not accept the integrity of our officials being questioned.

"Every Monday we live stream a football briefing explaining every contentious decision. Our officiating is as open and transparent as it can possibly be.

"Ivan's comments were disappointing, not aligned to the standards we uphold and will not be tolerated."

Abdo had a conversation with Cleary over his comments on Sunday and said the Panthers coach would take time to reflect on his actions.

V'landys added Cleary was a "great guy" who had made a mistake.

Graham Annesley weekly football briefing - Round 13

"I'm not picking on him but what he said was wrong and needs to be called out," V'landys said.

"As an elite coach he is a role model and people look up to him. If you have junior coaches and parents on the sidelines you don't want them questioning the referees because it's allowed at the elite level.

"Referees are crucial to the part of the game. I think Ivan has realised he's made a mistake and I hope he's learned from it."

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