Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has blasted the NRL bunker for sin binning winger Bailey Simonsson, stating he should never have been sent off. And he was right.
The Raiders mentor also questioned how the NRL could spend so much money on their bunker and still get things wrong.
It proved to be a telling error as well - the Raiders losing 20-14 to the Melbourne Storm, with the Storm scoring a try while Simonsson was in the sin bin. One converted try was the final margin.
Referee Grant Atkins had tentatively sent a decision upstairs to check for a possible penalty try.
But replays clearly showed Simonsson only had eyes for the ball in his contest with Storm flyer Josh Addo-Carr.
Bizarrely, video ref Steve Chiddy deemed it a professional foul and Simonsson was sent to the sin bin.
Off the resulting set Addo-Carr crossed down the wing vacated by Simonsson to rub salt into the Raiders' wounds.
"We should never have been a man down. There is no way in the world he should have been sent to the sin bin," Stuart said.
"I don't want to make a big issue of it, but I just don't understand how we use all this technology and money and still get it wrong because there was no way Bailey Simonsson should've been sent from the field when he was going for the football."
Stuart likened the decision to the Manly-Parramatta game when the Sea Eagles were incorrectly denied a match-winning try in the final seconds.
Making matters worse, Stuart felt there would be no repercussions for the officials.
"They got it wrong. Simple as that. Like they did in the Manly game. But they'll be back in the box again next week," he said.
The Raiders started the season as one of the premiership favourites after storming to last year's grand final.
A growing injury toll - that now adds Simonsson (shoulder) and Josh Hodgson (knee) to the list of Corey Horsburgh (foot), Sia Soliola (face), John Bateman (shoulder) and Emre Guler (ankle) - has many questioning whether the Raiders could mount a charge this season.
"I don't give a sh-t what people think. We won't get our heads down I promise you," Stuart said.
"After that effort tonight, losing one of our key players. If we lost every other game of the season and I had the same effort we had tonight I'm a happy coach.
"That's all I ask. Just keep turning up and give me that effort tonight.
"I thought we attacked very, very well tonight. That was our best defensive effort all year.
"[The Storm] scored a try when we had 12 men on the field and we shouldn't have been 12 men on the field."
Given that mounting injury toll, Stuart reaffirmed the club was in the market for middle forwards to help cover the toll.
They've been given $120,000 salary cap relief because Bateman hurt his shoulder while playing for Great Britain last year.
"We've got to keep looking to buy, we've got to get some new faces in because it looks like I've lost four for a long time," Stuart said.