SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 12: Tigers interim coach Brett Kimmorley looks on during the round 14 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Manly Sea Eagles at Campbelltown Stadium, on June 12, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Wests Tigers chairman Lee Hagipantelis has revealed the club are hoping to avoid legal action against the NRL, but refused to rule it out directly after they were controversially denied a victory in Townsville over the North Queensland Cowboys on Sunday afternoon.

The game had appeared to be over when a short kick-off from the Cowboys was fielded by fullback Daine Laurie in the final second of the game, with the Tigers leading by a point.

However, the referee Chris Buttler controversially allowed a captain's challenge to be made, before bunker official Ashley Klein ruled in favour of the Cowboys, with Valentine Holmes then stepping up to slot a penalty goal for the victory.

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The aftermath of the game has been dramatic, with the Tigers calling for action and Cowboys coach Todd Payten suggesting his side may have gotten away with one.

Speaking on Fox Sports NRL 360 on Monday evening, Hagipantelis said that the club's direct action would be based on whether actions by Buttler and Klein were taken after the completion of the game, but refused to rule out legal action to have the result potentially reversed if that was the case.

"I'd like to avoid that [legal action] if at all possible," Hagipantelis said.

"I sent a letter to Graham Annesley today asking him to produce the recordings of the audio and the transcript. We need to understand what was said between the referee, bunker and players and when it was said.

"When that information is available to us, we will be much better appraised as to what action is available to us. I would hope that if there was evidence available to establish a breach of the rules such as to warrant an overturning of the decision, we would be able to address that directly with the NRL and avoid litigation.

"There is an old adage that what happens on the field stays on the field, but that applies to the officiating decisions as well.

"Generally speaking they can't be challenged.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 04: Referee Ashley Klein gives a penalty during the round 20 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Parramatta Eels at WIN Jubilee Stadium on August 04, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

"But our preliminary view is and what we are concerned about is that these decisions that have caused us such complaint may have occurred after the completion of the game, and as such, any decision then taken by the referee would be null and might be the subject of a successful legal challenge."

Asked if he had ever heard of the "soft whistle" that has been branded by the NRL after referee Buttler stopped the game to confer with the bunker, Hagipantelis elaborated.

"This is the first I've heard of this soft whistle and we will need that explained to us," he said.

"As I understand it, Daine Laurie caught the ball, was tackled, a whistle was blown and time had expired.

"We will need it explained to us as to how the referee may have therefore exercised some discretion to extend time with a second whistle. At the moment it's very unsatisfactory."

Asked directly if the Tigers should receive the two points, he said it would depend on their final findings.

"If we can establish that what occurred happened following the completion of the match, such that the decisions taken by the referee were a nullity, then we won the match and Wests Tigers get two points," Hagipantelis added.