NRL head of elite football Graham Annesley has backed the match review committee's treatment of facials and eye-gouges amidst a green wave of frustration.
Canberra Raiders fans have been left scratching their heads after North Queensland forward Josh McGuire copped a $3400 fine for a facial on Manly firebrand Dylan Walker over the weekend.
McGuire has four prior similar offences to his name but again escaped suspension, while Raiders forward Hudson Young is left to serve a five-game ban for an eye-gouge.
"There is a difference between a facial, for want of a better term ... and poking around in the eyes of an opponent, and what we would traditionally call eye-gouging," Annesley said.
"There is a significant difference. The match review committee have to rely on the evidence that is available to them, which is video evidence.
"You don't often get players who want to complain or carry on with the complaint in relation to these matters. I understand that.
"In the absence of complaints, the only evidence the match review committee have to deal with is video evidence. In some cases, the video evidence is clearer than others."
Annesley says the reputation of the player in question threatens to cloud the judgement of those crying foul about the seriousness of any given offence.
But he stressed the match review committee does not take prior offences into account when grading individual incidents.
"In the McGuire case, what we have to be really careful of is disassociating the person committing the offence with the actual offence itself," Annesley said.
"When you look at the evidence available in that charge this weekend, compared with the charge of the Raiders player, there is a significant difference in the evidence that was available."