Broncos Offer Apology

The Brisbane Broncos have apologised to the National Rugby League for the "disruption and angst" caused by the 14-man furore - but is committed to press ahead with its appeal.

In a statement in which they admitted they had broken the rules but said they remained steadfast in their belief that the punishment was too harsh.

Brisbane was stripped of two premiership points for having 14 players on the field during the second half of their win over Wests Tigers in round three.

The Broncos have appealed the penalty and chief executive Bruno Cullen, coach Wayne Bennett and the club's legal representative

Terry Martin SC, will personally present their case to the NRL on Thursday.

Cullen was reluctant to go into detail today, but stressed the club regretted the incident had occurred.

"The Broncos, and Corey Parker, sincerely apologise for the disruption and angst this has caused to the NRL, and how it has detracted from the positive coverage of what has been some wonderful action on the field over the past two weekends," he told League Correspondent.

"It was never our intention to break the rules or conjure up a unfair advantage and our issue now is that the penalty is far too harsh for what did happen."

The statement said the Broncos believed they had a very good case and strong evidence to support their argument for a reduced penalty.

"It focuses on the fact that while Corey Parker took the field seconds before a badly concussed Shane Webcke had left the field, the Broncos had not received an unfair advantage over the Tigers," the statement said.

"In fact...until that point the team had been unfairly disadvantaged by the loss of Webcke who was knocked unconscious in an illegal tackle."

"Three tackles and 29 seconds had transpired before Parker took the field."

NRL chief executive David Gallop tonight admitted he had been disappointed with the Broncos criticism of the process involved in taking the premiership points off the club.

However, he welcomed the Broncos' apology.

"I haven't been pleased with the criticism of the process," Gallop said.

"I perfectly understand them being upset and they're entitled to say they think the decision is wrong."

"But I have been disappointed that they have chosen to attack the process because the process is a fair one within the NRL rules, the process gives them ample opportunity to state their case and if they are retracting their criticism of the process I welcome it."

Gallop confirmed, along with chief operating officer Graham Annesley, he would meet with the Broncos on Thursday.

"Normally the rules provide for a written submission but, given it's a serious matter, I am quite happy for them to present anything that complements their written submission," Gallop said.

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