The Wests Tigers have told the NRL they are considering all options after they were robbed of a victory over the North Queensland Cowboys on Sunday.

The Tigers were denied what would have been a 26-25 win after the referee allowed the Cowboys to make a captain’s challenge even though the play hadn’t stopped.

The baffling call sparked a furious reaction from commentators and rugby league fans, with many labelling it a blatant “robbery”.

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Bunker official Ashley Klein ruled Asu Kepaoa had deliberately impeded Kyle Feldt and awarded a penalty, allowing Valentine Holmes to kick the matchwinning penalty goal for the Cowboys.

Now furious Tigers officials are believed to be looking at all avenues to appeal the result, including their legal options.

“We are outraged by the decision. We are exploring all options available to us,” Tigers chairman Lee Hagipantelis told the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Tigers released a statement on Monday morning revealing the club had lodged an official complaint.

Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe said the club is demanding an explanation from the NRL.

“We believe the officials got it wrong, plain and simple,” said Pascoe.

“That decision has cost us victory and we want answers.

“Our players worked their backsides off all night to celebrate Jimmy’s 300th game, and they are to be applauded for their efforts.

“I know officials also work hard to get it right, but this in our opinion was just so wrong.

“I have spoken to a number of very experienced players, former players, media commentators, and our own coaching staff, and everyone agrees it was the wrong call.

“I’m not here to bash officials, I know they are doing their best, but the Bunker is there to avoid ‘howlers’.

“We would like an explanation from the NRL, and our Members and fans deserve that.”

A successful appeal could force the NRL to overturn the result and give the Tigers the two points, stripping the Cowboys of the victory.

There was only one second left on the clock when the kick-off in question happened, and Tigers officials will argue “the game was over” at the time the referee blew his whistle.

The Tigers will also question why the Cowboys were allowed a captain’s challenge given there wasn’t a stoppage in play as referee Chris Butler hadn’t blown a penalty.

The NRL has never reversed a result and it appears that won’t be changing, with the NRL defending the captain’s challenge.

An NRL spokesperson told the SMH: “The captain’s challenge was permissible in these circumstances.

“Although the referee had blown his whistle to stop the game after the last tackle was completed as time had expired, he had not yet called full-time,” the NRL spokesperson said.

However, the NRL has reportedly privately conceded the decision to penalise Kepaoa may have been wrong.

NRL head of football Graham Annesley will have some explaining to do at his weekly briefing on Monday.

Stand-in Tigers coach Ben Gardiner couldn’t get his head around the decision but gave a classy response after the game.

“It was a moment of elation and a moment of deflation,” he said.

“I felt I wasn’t quite sure on why the decision was made.

“My understanding is when the Bunker comes into play when there is a challenge made, it has to be when there is an indiscretion in the play, when there is a breakdown in the play.

“My understanding is we caught the ball, the game was over, and that’s where it should have ended.

“I’ve been around coaching for a long time and you can get upset, you can complain, you can do all those sorts of things, but it doesn’t change anything. It was a moment of deflation, that’s for sure.”

Cowboys coach Todd Payten admitted his side got lucky.

“If I look back at the season gone so far, we had a try taken off us last week which was huge. Even back in round one, Hamiso (Tabuai-Fidow) got a try taken off him with a couple of minutes to go which cost us a game,” he said.

“What goes around comes around, we got one tonight. We got a call at the end.

“Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t. Tonight we got one.”

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