Wighton, who went on to win the Clive Churchill Medal, was tackled and the refs ruled a handover before the Roosters marched down the field and scored what proved to be the match-winner through James Tedesco.
In what was still one of the great NRL grand finals of all time, the Sydney Roosters scored a 14-8 win.
Two decisions by referees in the second half of the Roosters' NRL grand final win attracted plenty of scrutiny, but the NRL is backing its officials for the calls they made. The Raiders will be able to hold their heads high after having the ascension for most of what was their first Grand Final appearance since 1994.
While the rule was widely criticised, the Raiders remained in touch at 8-6 after Clive Churchill Medal victor Wighton stepped off his left foot to bamboozle Roosters skipper Boyd Cordner.
"But I'll tell you what, it took heart and soul for this football club to defend for that time and then to counter that by scoring points when I got back".
Cooper Cronk got the ideal farewell.
Heartbreakingly for Ricky Stuart's side, the Roosters scored off the next set with Luke Keary exploding down the blind side and Latrell Mitchell producing a lovely flick pass to unlock Daniel Tupou for Tedesco to score between the posts.
This was Cronk's final game of rugby league - and his third successive grand final win.
"It is a humbling experience to live out a dream", Cronk said.
Thurston also suggested Cronk should be seen as one of the great halfbacks while Phil Gould and Darren Lockyer admitted his incredible record set Cronk apart. Sunday was Cronk's ninth grand final.
49th minute: Josh Papalii denied a penalty try when he was tackled without the ball.
The Green Machine didn't stop believing.
"This club cops a lot of criticism but it's got one big heart, one big soul and an bad lot of good people".
18m: Roosters second-rower Mitchell Aubusson leaves the field with a knee injury, replaced by Angus Crichton.
"I knew I was going to play (against Canberra in the grand final)".
A Luke Keary kick hit Raiders big man Sia Soliola in the head with teammate Elliott Whitehead leading the chase for the ball until it hit Touma. And Roosters skipper Boyd Cordner said: "God it feels good".
Tedesco seized on the mistake to turn the game for the Roosters. They're a club built on sustained success and consistent victory. Canberra fans rose as one when Immortal Mal Meninga blew the horn to lead the Viking Clap alongside some of the Raiders best including Laurie Daley, Glenn Lazarus and Terry Campese.
Rivals may hate the Roosters but you've got to respect them.