Brisbane coach Kevin Walters has questioned whether interchange forward Kobe Hetherington deserved to be sent off for his high tackle on Canberra's Corey Harawira-Naera in the 38-16 loss at GIO Stadium on Saturday night.
The Broncos were down a man for the final 21 minutes after Hetherington was marched by referee Chris Sutton after his shoulder hit a falling Harawira-Naera.
A Tyson Gamble ankle tap sent the Raiders second-rower careering into the defensive line, leaving him dazed temporarily after the contact with Hetherington.
Sutton did not hesitate to send Hetherington from the field saying the contact was "forceful and to the head".
"It's a bit hard but that’s the game we're in at the moment," Walters said.
"We've just got to cop it the way we have and get on with things. He (Hetherington) couldn’t go anywhere, but when you make contact with the head regardless of the situation that’s what we’re trying to remove from the game.
"I'm not sure if it's a send-off, there was no intent from Kobe to do anything but to make the tackle."
Match Highlights: Raiders v Broncos
Regardless of the debate over the call, the Broncos were again their own worst enemy for much of the contest and the Raiders capitalised on those mistakes.
Brisbane's defence will again come under the microscope next week head of their clash with Souths Sydney, after Walters’ men missed 44 tackles against the Raiders. They were also outclassed nine line breaks to two.
"It’s been a problem for us all year, we’re obviously trying to fix it but without much progress at the moment," Walters said.
"I guess chopping and changing the team, due to injuries and blokes a bit out of form doesn’t help, but it's something we'll have to look at for next week on Thursday against Souths.
"I thought in different patches in the game we were making some progress and then we’d come up with an error or a poor read in defence and the Raiders would capitalise on it.
"We just weren't good enough."
Xavier Coates should be clear to play against the Rabbitohs after being a late withdrawal in the warm-up for the Raiders with hamstring tightness.
"It's hard when you lose a winger you don't really cater for that, luckily we had Tesi Niu down here with us," Walters said.
Niu does it all on his own to keep Broncos in it
"We lost Albert (Kelly) at training on Friday so a bit of disruption, but it still doesn’t compensate for the poor errors we came up with in attack and also in defence."
The game did mark the return of Karmichael Hunt to the NRL, having not played in the top grade since 2009.
Walters said he will give the former Queensland and Australian representative an extended run at five-eighth to get the best out of his return.
"I thought he did his job well, defensively he was okay and he organised well, so probably a pass mark for him," he said.
"So we’ll try and stick with what we’ve got at the moment (in the halves) but we’re not sure with Albert how he’ll be with his hamstring."