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Graham Annesley is certain there won't be a repeat of a goal kick being taken off the mark in the grand final after admitting to an officiating error on the weekend.

The NRL head of football said the process had been "rectified" to ensure conversions are attempted in line with where a try is scored after a controversy involving Penrith halfback Nathan Cleary.

It had no bearing on the 10-6 result against Melbourne, but Annesley conceded Cleary kicked from "seven or eight metres" further infield than he should have after Brian To'o scored in the corner.

Annesley said the 42nd-minute incident was a "clear miss from the on-field match officials" including leading referee Gerard Sutton.

"It was a failure of process more than anything else ... The referees did not follow a process that resulted in the kick being taken from the right position," Annesley said in his Monday media briefing.

"The one thing I can absolutely assure you of is that that process has been rectified already today and we won't see an occurrence of that type of incident in the grand final," he added.

"I've made it absolutely clear that the process needs to be reinforced to the referees; that a touch judge needs to take up position to mark or indicate where the try has been scored.

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"The referee then needs to take that mark from the touch judge and take responsibility for lining the kicker up.

"I think that it's something that hasn't had the necessary level of attention that it should have. It's a very important aspect obviously of scoring in our game. We all know conversions are taken in line with where the try is scored, so it's important that that's right."

Elsewhere, Annesley explained why Storm prop Christian Welch was allowed to stay on the field after play was stopped early in Saturday's preliminary final so he could be assessed for a head injury.

The rules stipulate that a player must go off for at least two minutes of elapsed game-time when a trainer calls for play to be halted, but a head injury concern is the only exception.

Welch was substituted in the eighth minute and he underwent a formal HIA, which he failed, and did not return.

"The fact that this was a potential head injury [meant] there was no requirement for Christian Welch to leave the field at that time that he was examined by the trainer," Annesley said.

"Now, there's still a process going on in the background here and he was ultimately removed from the field after the doctor examined both the video tape, spoke to the trainer and then made a decision about whether he needed to come off for a HIA."

Match Highlights: Storm v Panthers

Annesley also confirmed that Melbourne five-eighth Cameron Munster should have been penalised "at the very minimum" for a high tackle on Panthers counterpart Jarome Luai.

Luai passed a HIA and returned to action in the second half but told ABC Grandstand that he "blacked out" and "was sort of dizzy".

Asked about Luai's comments, Annesley said: "Sometimes how players express themselves after games, maybe they are a bit loose with how they describe some things that take place in the game."

He vigorously defended the integrity of the medical professionals who evaluate potential concussions and determine whether players can return to the field following a head knock.

"There are two separate components: there's an operational component about complying with our rules, going through the correct process," Annesley said about HIA protocols.

"But there's another component which is a medical assessment. Now, the medical assessment can only be carried out by professionals, doctors and medically-trained trainers.

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"There's no one at the NRL - certainly operationally - that can determine whether a player has suffered an injury or not. All we can do is put in place a process for that to be assessed.

"What we do as a standard procedure following every weekend of football is go through every HIA and look at that with medical input to determine whether we need to seek further information from clubs or not about the process that they went through and the decisions that they reached.

"We've obviously got highly credentialled, very ethical doctors who look at players as patients and they make medical decisions.

"We have to make sure before we question any of those procedures and processes or decisions that we've gone through a very stringent process of making sure that our procedures have been abided by and then assessing the decisions that are ultimately made.

"It's not our position to question their judgement in terms of the medical decisions that they make."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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