A furious Anthony Griffin fired a broadside at the NRL's match review committee accusing them of conduct "not in the spirit of the game" for charging Brisbane captain Sam Thaiday over an incident involving a referee last Friday night.
Thaiday, who could miss Friday night's derby with the Gold Coast, will appear before the NRL's judiciary in Sydney on Wednesday night charged with contrary conduct not in the spirit of the game arising from an incident with referee Adam Devcich early in Brisbane's 32-26 loss to Melbourne at Suncorp Stadium.
Thaiday tugged on Devcich's shirt as he tried to demonstrate how he'd been held back in a scrum by Melbourne prop Bryan Norrie, as Storm fullback Billy Slater ran through a big gap to score a try.
Replays show Thaiday trying to break free of Norrie's hold during the scrum, and after the try was scored pleading with Devcich over the incident not being penalised.
"I think every person that follows football who was watching that saw Sam get held back," said Griffin.
"It's a big call to rule someone out for a week when they could have sent us a warning letter, the same as we would have sent a warning letter asking them to fix up their video referee."
Griffin said it was an unnecessary black mark against Thaiday who was a Ken Stephen medal winner for his work amongst the community.
"Surely we have people with the ability to use some discretion so someone doesn't miss a game of football over such a minor incident," Griffin said.
Griffin said referees' boss Daniel Anderson had contacted him on Monday, admitting the whistle blowers got it wrong and that Thaiday should not have been charged.
"Sam is pretty dirty that he is going to miss a game of football," said an angry Griffin.
"If it was a preliminary final and it was Cameron Smith or Jamie Lyon, I'd like to know if they'd be making the same decision?
"We want to point out he wasn't aggressive towards the referee (Devcich), the referee wasn't in any danger.
"It wasn't intentional, it wasn't malicious.
"Sam was just very frustrated and he grabbed his (referee's) shirt to demonstrate what had happened to him.
"He didn't manhandle the referee.
"Sam made an error in judgment, a very small, tiny error of judgment because of the pressure he was put under by a lot of errors made before that and was frustrated.
"There's a lot of (other) ways to deal with it than just saying it was outside the spirit of the game.
Asked if he thought Brisbane had a chance of getting Thaiday off the charge, Griffin said:
"No, I don't think so. I hope he gets off. I hope there are some people down there (Sydney) with the thought process to see it is too harsh of a penalty."