Head of football Graham Annesley says referee Chris Sutton shouldn't have overridden the NRL Bunker in an incident that led to mass confusion in Saturday's Raiders-Broncos clash at GIO Stadium.
The Raiders challenged a 34th-minute call of knock-on close to their own line when Jack Wighton, who was at marker, reached for the arm of Jake Turpin and forced the ball loose.
The Bunker ruled Wighton was offside at marker and requested the Raiders five-eighth be penalised and ultimately, ending the need to assess the play further.
However, Sutton told senior official Steve Clark the Bunker couldn't rule on markers being offside and awarded the Raiders the ball.
Clark then announced the Raiders had unsuccessfully challenged the decision before retracting the statement by announcing they were in fact successful – the only correct call of the incident.
Graham Annesley weekly football briefing - Round 14
"The challenge was OK because they challenged that they didn't knock on and were allowed to mount that challenge," Annesley said on Monday.
"But it should've been a penalty to the Broncos for the interference from Jack Wighton.
"Unfortunately the referee gets involved in this and brings to the attention that the Bunker can't rule on markers, which is incorrect.
Get Caught Up: Round 14
"While there can't be a challenge on the marker, the Bunker can rule on the marker.
"Originally the right decision was made and the referee shouldn't have got involved.
"The Bunker shouldn't have taken [Sutton's] advice and made its own decision, which is what we tell the Bunker to do.
"This was a mess and I admit it was a mess, but what the Bunker can rule on is different to what the players challenge on.
"Once a challenge is initiated, the Bunker can rule on other things that were not the subject of that challenge."
The incident caused minimal harm to proceedings in the end with the Raiders losing the ball in the following set and the Broncos scoring a try two minutes later.
Meanwhile, Annesley said the Raiders' concerns for Wighton being taken out in kick-chases had been heard but he was satisfied there were enough rules in place around those incidents.
Raiders assistant coach Andrew McFadden spoke out on the matter after Ricky Stuart made comments about the opposition's tactics earlier in the season.
"We've talked about it in the past in these briefings and not just Jack Wighton but with kickers and playmakers generally," Annesley said.
"Last year there were instructions handed down from the Commission to make sure these key playmakers weren't targeted.
"In saying that we see on games most weekends there's a very fine line between what is in the rules and where someone steps outside the boundaries.
"That's why we have referees on the field and a match review process. Every incident and second out of a game is reviewed each week."