Jack Wighton saw the signal for "six again" - if he hadn't, the Canberra Raiders playmaker says there is no way he would have gone down with the ball.
So when the Sydney Roosters told the eventual Clive Churchill Medal winner to hand the ball over after he surrendered in a tackle, he thought they were trying to trick him.
Referee Ben Cummins has come under fire for changing a call midway through a play in the NRL grand final at Sydney Olympic Park on Sunday night.
Cummins signalled "six again" before changing the call to "last tackle" but Wighton didn't hear the call. The Roosters regained possession and ultimately scored the decisive try just two plays later.
"It's big, mate, it's massive. I saw it mate, it would have been on the toe or I would have thrown the ball if it was not that instruction," Wighton said.
"He's the boss and I saw the call, so I kept it safe, and he has gone back on his decision. We're definitely not going to blame a ref for that loss, we had more than enough opportunities. A good team won.
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"I heard the Roosters boys saying I had to give the ball over and I thought they were trying to trick me.
"I told my forward, Emre [Guler], to hold the ball because it was six again, then he threw it to me and I definitely wasn't passing it because I knew it was six again. It was a massive moment in the game."
The thing that stings most is not the call, nor it is the boos he received when he accepted the man of the match award - becoming the fourth player from a losing side to do so.
"It's not because of the circumstances. I've been at this club for 10 years now and it is something I've never had the shot of doing," Wighton said.
"Having such a great team and an opportunity with a team to actually win it, it's the worst feeling. These opportunities don't come around very often, and missing out on that opportunity, that's what hurts.
"It is one of the worst feelings of my life, definitely. But at the same time it's one of my biggest accomplishments is getting that medal.
"It was a very weird feeling and a weird time for me, but very disappointing. At the same time I love each and every one of these boys.
"I would give everything for a premiership. It's the worst feeling I've felt."
Wighton's focus now turns to his looming Australian debut after being named in Mal Meninga's Kangaroos squad for end-of-season Tests against New Zealand and Tonga.
An Australian call-up caps off a remarkable turnaround for the 26-year-old after a suspension for a drunken assault in Canberra's CBD left him fearing his career would be over last year.
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Wighton is determined to make the most of his second chance from which he has earned a State of Origin series win, a Clive Churchill medal and a looming Kangaroos debut.
But he would trade it all in for premiership success after the Raiders stuck by Wighton when his career was at a crossroads.
"It's all choices, they made the choice to stand by me and I made the choice to repay them as best I can," Wighton said.
"We didn't get the points [in the grand final] but I have done everything I can to give back to the club and the fans.
"We're just grateful to have that opportunity in a grand final, that's what I've got to focus on. I love all these boys, thank you for the club for standing by me last year.
"I've done my best to redeem myself, that was my goal for this year."