Within minutes of the post-match presentation, after the Roosters had been handed the premiership trophy for the second year, ARL Commission chairman Peter Beattie headed up the tunnel.
"How fantastic was that?" Beattie beamed. "Just amazing."
And it was. Cracking game. Amazing grand final. Roosters. Back to back. What a team ...
But what about the six-to-go call that has cost the Raiders any chance of victory? Not so fantastic.
"What are you talking about?" Beattie asked, puzzled.
Ah, the moment with eight minutes remaining when lead referee Ben Cummins signalled six more tackles after ruling a Raiders bomb had come off Roosters fullback James Tedesco?
The moment when five-eighth Jack Wighton allowed himself to be tackled with the ball, believing he had another six tackles up his sleeve - as indicated by Cummins frantically waving his hand above his head?
The moment when the Roosters were handed possession and soon thereafter scored the premiership-winning try at the other end?
"I didn't see that," Beattie said.
And that, sports fans, is precisely what is wrong with the NRL. The people who run the game are either unaware of the poor officiating that is turning fans away or too proud, too sensitive or too protective of their own jobs to admit to a problem.
They either don't want to see it or they can't see it.
"The worst decision in the history of rugby league," one leading club official, who has seen more footy than most of us, texted me on fulltime. "Things need to change."
Beattie says he was in a lift going down to the post-match presentations when the incident with Wighton happened and that nobody informed him of the unfolding drama when he got on the field.
Discerning fans are wise enough to understand that "referees have the toughest job in the game"; that we're "looking for perfection in an imperfect game"; that "as long as people are involved in the decision-making, there will always be human error".
They remember the contentious refereeing decisions from past grand finals, from David Manson allowing Manly fullback Matthew Ridge to play on despite being tackled just before halftime in the 1996 grand final against St George (grrrrr); to Bill Harrigan penalising Balmain's Bruce McGuire for tapping the ball forward in the 1989 grand final against Canberra; to Darcy Lawler allowing St George winger Johnny King to get up and score in 1963 grand final against Wests, something old Magpies players still talk about.
But the problem is that most people watched matches this season fearing a refereeing decision would decide the outcome. And then one did, in the most important game of the year.
Head of football Graham Annesley, to his credit, keeps fronting the media whenever there's a contentious call - but the excuses are wearing thin.
After the match, he and referees boss Bernie Sutton were locked in a room in the bowels of ANZ Stadium long after fulltime, poring over an iPad, no doubt trying to find a way to justify the Cummins howler.
The iPad revealed what we all could see and hear on replay: the ball coming off a Canberra player's shoulder, Cummins saying, "Six more tackles" and signalling the restart with his hand, before then correcting it by saying "last tackle" four more times.
Cummins might have corrected his call but, like a drunken midnight text sent to an ex-lover, the message had already been dispatched and there was no way of getting it back. Wighton thought he had another set. We all did.
They still got it wrong - even when getting it right.
"But if they had allowed play to go on off an incorrect restart to the tackle count, and the Raiders had scored, I'd still be sitting here and answering why that had been allowed to happen," Annesley said.
Again, this is what's wrong with the game. "What if?" is not an excuse for poor refereeing.
What if Cummins had made the correct call in the first place? What if Wighton knew that and instead grubbered into the in-goal - which he was perfectly positioned to do - and got a repeat set?
What if the weary Roosters defence couldn't hold them out and the Raiders scored? What if the Raiders won the grand final?
Roosters coach Trent Robinson wasn't having a bar of any of it on Channel Nine's post-match panel, becoming hostile when Cowboys great Johnathan Thurston did his job and raised the issue.
"You felt as though we were lucky there, JT?" Robinson fired back.
"No, I was just asking your thoughts on that," Thurston said.
"Honestly, if you're bringing that up at this time ... There could've been lots of decisions that we want to go through. Mate, what are my thoughts on that? I thought we were under the pump for a lot of that game and we fought hard and won the game. I felt like there was a lot of controversy at different times."
The controversy Robinson was referring to was the sin-binning of halfback Cooper Cronk for a tackle fractionally early on Raiders prop Josh Papalii.
In a collision sport, played at speed, that type of contact inevitably happens. A penalty would've been the common-sense ruling - although given the eagerness of referees to sin-bin players this season it wasn't surprising Cronk was marched.
Pocket referee Gerard Sutton could be heard on the referee mics bellowing "professional foul" as soon as it happened. Cronk's card had already been marked.
The professional foul debate is a philosophical one, perhaps best explained by the press box argument that erupted as Cronk left the field, much like the one that erupted when Manly forward Jake Trbojevic was sin-binned in the final stages of his side's semi-final loss to South Sydney.
Cummins' reversal of his six-to-go decision also raises questions about whether there are too many people in the lead referee's ear. The argument for a return to one referee is getting louder.
So what will happen now? Not much.
Someone will do a review, then there will be a meeting, then there will be a report, then there will be a media conference where Annesley or Greenberg or perhaps Beattie's replacement, Peter V'landys, will say all the right words pre-written by the NRL's ever-expanding media department.
The game doesn't need spin. It needs change. It needs common sense to be introduced to all levels of officiating.
As Beattie was leaving the scene of the crime, oblivious that a crime had even been committed, Raiders coach Ricky Stuart was standing in a corner of the dressing-room impersonating a bubbling volcano.
He was holding a can of VB in one hand, with the other hand on his hip. Annesley had attempted to meet with him after the match, but Stuart refused.
"What use was there in speaking to him?" Stuart said, tears of frustration in his eyes. "The damage has been done."
- SMH/The Age