NRL refereeing boss Graham Annesley says his officials got it right in their grand final reverse call, even though they initially got it wrong.

The Raiders, who were pressing for victory against the Roosters, were disadvantaged late in the game when they were initially given six more tackles by referee Ben Cummins.

It was one of those tough calls, with players from each side contesting a high Raiders kick.

Cummins quickly changed that to "last tackle", which he called out four times in a desperate effort to let the players know. It resulted in a handover to the Roosters, who were hard on defence.


Beaten Raiders coach Ricky Stuart took the reversed call mess well in the grand final aftermath, although one Sydney columnist labelled it "Disgraceful call story of NRL season".

Annesley said: "I've reviewed the particular decision from four different camera angles and my judgement is the ball did deflect off a Canberra player, which meant that 'six tackles' should not have been awarded.

"The referee initially rules 'six again' but then one of his touch judges and the assistant referee immediately tell him it's come off a Canberra player. He corrects his initial call and then in the space of the remaining play he calls 'last tackle' on four occasions before the play breaks down.

"It's obviously very messy and disappointing as a whole that we're now talking about an incident where they actually got the decision right, the just got it right in a way that has created an obvious amount of controversy.

"Did it affect the way Canberra play out that final tackle? Yeah, I'm sure it does. But if they had not corrected the decision and the Raiders had scored, I'd probably still be sitting here telling you a try had been scored off an incorrect decision."