NRL head of football and elite competitions Graham Annesley has clarified Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Victor Radley were within their rights to use "the wall" in slowing the progress of Titans chasers on Saturday evening ahead of an ultimately game-winning field goal to Sam Walker.
Blocking and obstructing chasers from getting to kickers, particularly in field goal situations has been a topic of hot conversation throughout much of this season.
Under the rule known as "The Wall", players are not allowed to stand side by side next to the play the ball to prevent a defender from reaching a kicker or player in possession.
The NRL rule book reads: "If two of more players form a wall (side by side) next to the play the ball and don't allow the opportunity for a defending player to move directly towards the player in possession, the referee will penalise for obstruction."
Annesley showed the briefing a number of events where the rule has been brought into question already this season, with none of them penalised, and then said we can't be changing the rule in the finals.
"This is not something that isn't unusual. The real issue here is whether a player, or those players, prevent an opposition player from moving towards the player in possession," Annesley said.
"The reason side by side is in the rule is basically it means players can't stand shoulder to shoulder to make sure they can't get through.
"We saw looking at Mitch Rein that he got through and was able to put pressure on the kicker."
"It's a mechanism that has been used by clubs right throughout the course of the season, multiple clubs, not the same club every time. The real determining factor here is whether those players who take up that position actually interfere with any chasers or not and preventing them from chasing the ball."
"Whether people think players should be allowed to do that is another matter, and can be discussed in the off-season, but we aren't going to change the rules in the finals series."
"It's difficult to determine whether he (Waerea-Hargreaves) was in front of the play the ball. If he was, they are simply out of play until the next play the ball. The most important factor is whether the runner had his run impeded to chase the ball."
Walker went on to slot the field goal, allowing the Roosters to set up a semi-final showdown with the Manly Sea Eagles on Friday night.
When asked whether a penalty would have been blown if Rein had run into Waerea-Hargreaves even though they weren't standing shoulder to shoulder, Annesley said it was hard to say.
"It could have. Possibly. It's difficult to give the answer without seeing what sort of contact takes place, but in that situation, the referee has a more difficult decision to make. The other factor is had the Titans had a challenge left, they could have challenged it."
"But looking at it, and looking at the rule and other examples, it would have been difficult given Rein got through and had a direct line, for the bunker to overrule that."
Annesley didn't rule out the NRL reviewing the rule ahead of 2022.
"Whether the rule should be addressed or not is a different question, and I'm happy that we discuss that at the end of the season," Annesley said.
"I'm very happy to review whether this sort of positioning of players in these types of situations should be reviewed for next season and beyond."