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The Brisbane Broncos could be stripped of the competition points they earned against the Wests Tigers yesterday after confirmation that an investigation is underway into the possibility that the club had 14 players on the field at one point during the game.
The Broncos may have had 14 men on the field during a crucial stage in which forward Corey Parker scored a try.
The Broncos claim that if there was 14 players on the field, it was only because trainers were assisting an injured and dazed Shane Webcke from the field.
The incident happened when the Broncos were behind, the Parker try levelling the scores at 18-all.
North Queensland were stripped of two competition points for a similar incident some years ago, but in that case, the offending 14th player was on the field for an extended period.
The Broncos incident comes after match officials were thrown into the spotlight last weekend over a series of incorrect decisions.
Broncos CEO Bruno Cullen says it would be a tragedy if the Broncos lost any points.
"There are three things to consider here," Cullen told The Courier Mail last night.
"First the Wests prop (Gibbs) stayed on the field while Shane Webcke had to leave the field in Disneyland and he's still in Disneyland as I speak.
"Second the referee restarted play before Shane was off the field. They didn't do that last night when Andrew Johns was hurt.
"Third, Corey assures me he didn't go on until the touch judge told him to."
It's understood nobody from the NRL has spoken to Cullen about the possibility of the Broncos being stripped of competition points.
If they are stripped of the points, they are not automatically handed to the Wests Tigers, as the win will technically stand.
This is the second match official drama the Tigers have been involved in in as many weeks after they lost an extra time thriller against Souths in round two. Extra time went on for longer than the initial five minutes allowed, and the Tigers believed the match should have been declared a draw despite a match-winning Willie Peters field goal from Souths.