The poor refereeing decision to not pull up a blatant forward pass from Reece Walsh in their preliminary final win has kicked off a massive debate in rugby league, with legend Cameron Smith the latest to weigh in.

The forward pass led to a Jordan Riki at a pivotal point in the game, and if it hadn't been such a blowout scoreline, the pass would come under even greater scrutiny.

It's led to a week-long debate about whether or not forward pass technology should be introduced to the game, or whether the Bunker should be allowed to intervene, with decisions seemingly split.

As much as Smith doesn't want to slow the game down, he admitted these issues can't continue on the game's biggest stage.

“We can't afford to have those bad ones in our game, the forward pass debate has been around for a long, long time,” Smith said on SEN 1170 The Captain's Run.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 21: Reece Walsh of the Maroons makes a break during game two of the State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on June 21, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

“There's always going to be some slight forward passes that are really fifty-fifties, it's really hard to tell by the naked eye but surely someone knew the other night.

“If we're going bring in some sort of technology or the ability to review forward passes, let's look at them on try-scoring opportunities at the very least, just to start with.

“The bunker already does this, they're already in the ear of the referee… surely the bunker is viewing that forward pass and saying, ‘There was a blatant forward pass back there, let's go back and review'.”

The issue overall is the disparity between 'blatant' and 'line ball', and which the Bunker could rule on. Journalist Brent Read spoke on NRL360 earlier in the week and fairly declared that if they rule on one, they have to rule on them all.

Co-anchor Denan Kemp was closer to the fence on the topic, the former Brisbane flyer concerned about the game's speed.

“I don't the game to slow down even more than it does, the concern I have with the bunker coming and reviewing everything is that it's already super slow,” Kemp added.

“Could you imagine if they're going back and forth, back and forth on a forward pass, but I do think the bunker should, and they don't have to tell the public, they should have an emergency red button.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 21: Denan Kemp of the Broncos in action during the round 10 NRL match between the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the Brisbane Broncos at Brookvale Oval May 21, 2007 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

“When something is so obviously wrong, they can just whisper into the referees' ear, ‘That was forward', and we just go back, don't even tell us, it can just get called back and we move on.

“When everyone knows it wrong, let's be smart here and use some common sense, but it has happened before even this year, whether it's a forward pass that's happened, the bunker has looked back at it and found another reason not to give it.

“So, there is precedent for looking way to make sure the right call is made.”

While no change will be made prior to the grand final, it's expected that the topic will earn a heavy review from NRL officials over the off-season, with potential changes to be made in 2024.