St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor insists the club has no regrets over electing to fight a grade two charge leveled at Tariq Sims, despite the star back-rower being rubbed out of the Origin decider on Tuesday night.
After almost an hour of deliberations, the judiciary panel of Bob Linder, Dallas Johnson and Mal Cochrane found Sims guilty of dangerous contact stemming from a tackle on Cowboys five-eighth Michael Morgan last Friday.
It was a heartbreaking result for Sims, with the charge roundly panned by a host of former players and fans last week. McGregor was unequivocal in his belief the panel erred in handing out the sanction.
"I'm disappointed in the outcome for Tariq," McGregor said.
"To miss and important game like Origin for an individual is a hard pill to swallow. I don't feel it was the right decision [from the judiciary].
"I feel strongly about that because we went over the tackle numerous times and didn't think it was as heavy as what was initially charged.
"We went in with a real purpose in that we felt he was not guilty. Obviously they found enough in it to warrant him missing a game and we've got to wear that decision."
Sims was initially slapped with three-week ban before successfully downgrading the charge to make himself available for the Dragons clash with Canberra Sunday week.
Had he entered an early guilty plea to a grade one charge Sims would have been entitled to a 25 per cent discount that would have seen him escape suspension.
It left many to ask why the club didn't take that course of action but McGregor said the move was based on legal advice and the stance of Sims himself.
"I still feel strongly that we did the right thing in challenging it because we felt he was innocent," McGregor said.
"Our legal advice was to challenge it. Tariq, as a man, wanted to challenge it because he couldn't go into that meeting opposite three ex-players and talk about something he didn't do.
"He really wanted to go in there with an honest approach to how he went into the tackle and that's what he did. There's a policy to follow and he's been given one round [suspension] and we'll follow that."
McGregor traded barbs with Cowboys coach Paul Green in the aftermath to last Friday's clash after Green - a member of the NRL's competition committee - was openly critical of the tackle. It prompted McGregor to suggest Green "zip his mouth.
It was a stance he re-iterated in more measured tones when questioned about it on Wednesday, pointing to his own silence after a late hit from Eels winger Maika Sivo left Corey Norman with a broken cheekbone in round eight.
"It's a coach obviously having his player's back a little bit in and around the time and the emotion involved in the game," McGregor said of the spat.
"For me, the players sort things out on the footy field. Then you've got the match review coordinator to watch the games and indicate if there's a follow up to illegal action during in the game.
"I don't feel it's a coach's right to, in the frustration and emotion involved in a game, to go out and comment on an opposition player. I never said a word after the [round-eight] Parramatta game and Corey missed a month. I leave that to the players on the footy field.
"I just feel when it's spoken about in the post-match press conference it's highlighted to the public and obviously to the match review committee."