Canberra co-captain Josh Hodgson says referee Ben Cummins denied making the controversial call that has overshadowed the Roosters' NRL grand final win.
The NRL has thrown its support behind Cummins in the wake of enormous criticism levelled at the whistle-blower after he appeared to call "six again" in favour of the Raiders, before reversing his decision late in the game.
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The controversial moment proved a massive turning point in the match as James Tedesco scored what turned out to be the match-winning try for the Roosters moments later.
Hodgson has since revealed his version of events of what exactly happened during the contentious passage of play that has sparked widespread outrage.
The Canberra hooker said he immediately asked Cummins about the "six again" call when the decision was reversed on the field.
He said that he said five and last. He kept five and last in the air. That’s what he told me," Hodgson told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"I said to him 'did you not call six again?'
"And he said 'no, I called five and last.'
"I thought he (called six again) at the time. That's why I asked him if he called six again and he said 'no, I called five and last."'
Replays of the incident seemed to contradict the referee’s version of events, sparking fan fury on social media.
Ben Cummins. How do you feel about receiving the Clive Churchill medal? pic.twitter.com/BXCFtLULSr— CraigHarris (@CraigHa39939417) October 6, 2019
Despite the magnitude of the controversy and how shattering it must have been for the Raiders, Hodgson showed a touch of class by accepting his own team's shortcomings had as much to do with the eventual result.
"Little things have a big difference sometimes. But that isn’t the only reason we got beaten," Hodgson said.
"It could have been a lot better but it’s not going to change anything now.
"We dealt with a fair bit of pressure in that first half. I thought we defended really well to come in (trailing) at 8-6 with the amount of possession we had in the first half," he said.
"But with the amount of possession we had in the second half - we couldn’t capitalise."
League officials back referee in wake of grand final criticism
ARL Commission chairman Peter Beattie said Cummins wouldn't have been feeling good following the grand final.
"Sometimes things happen that are no one's fault," Beattie said.
"Nobody is saying Ben went out there to make a bad decision. Of course he didn't.
"We will support him because at the end of the day if people keep vilifying referees no one will want to do this job."
Beattie mirrored the view of NRL head of football Graham Annesley who insisted the correct call was made even if the process was wrong.
"I can understand why a lot of Raiders fans were unhappy with what happened but the reality was a mistake was made and it was corrected," Beattie said.
"When you've got a linesman and the assistant referee giving advice, you can't ignore it.
"He's not going to feel terribly good today, of course he's not. There is controversy around ... (but) we've got to be sensitive about these things.
"These people are not robots, they are people."