Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart is happy to cop the $10,000 suspended fine and says he let down his own standards when he threw a water bottle out of the coach's box window.
NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo spoke with Stuart before issuing the sanction, which also raised concerns about some of his comments in the post-match press conference following the Raiders' win over the New Zealand Warriors at Canberra Stadium on Sunday.
Stuart also revealed the Green Machine still had their sights set on the top-four, but he didn't think the Parramatta Eels would lose to the Wests Tigers.
The Raiders coach made nine changes to the 17 that beat the Warriors, although one of those was the return of prop Sia Soliola (face) from almost three months on the sideline.
They need to beat the Sharks at Kogarah on Saturday and then rely on the Tigers doing the same to the Eels later that day to move from a guaranteed fifth-placed finish to fourth.
That would earn them a second chance in the finals, but wouldn't guarantee his star players a break at all this season.
Stuart instead opted to have his players fresh for the finals rather than run out a full-strength team against the Sharks - who'll they'll likely face in week one of the finals as well.
He was given a suspended fine after he became frustrated with the sin binning of five-eighth Jack Wighton for a very tight offside call.
It was the Raiders' third offence in a matter of minutes, so Wighton was given his marching orders for repeated infringements.
"I appreciated the conversation I had with Andrew at the start of the week," Stuart said.
"He rang to explain his position and I fully accept that.
"In Andrew's words it's not the standard he wants coaches to run by and I was well below standards in regards to what I set for myself, and also other coaches.
"I fully accept that and I'll move on."
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Given there's been no byes in the 2021 NRL season due to the coronavirus pandemic, Stuart felt giving his stars a rest gave his team the best chance to go deep into the finals.
While John Bateman has been cleared of a serious injury, a week off will only be beneficial to his elbow.
Fellow England international Elliott Whitehead took a heavy knock to his ribs in the second half that led to him vomiting on the field - although he said after the game he was only winded.
It's a similar story for enforcer Josh Papalii, who hurt his shoulder against the Sydney Roosters.
Both Jarrod Croker and George Williams had head knocks against the Warriors and both have played all 19 games this season.
"We're still going for the top-four spot if it was available, but I'm not expecting Parramatta to get beaten," Stuart said.
"I've got to worry about our own journey and I've got to look after my own players.
"Nobody understands more than myself and my staff here what the players have gone through and how they're feeling today.
"That's why I've made that decision. It's important for me to look after my players and that's what I'm doing this week.
"We've got players there who are really knocked around and are really going to enjoy the extra week to prepare for our play-offs.
"From a preparation point of view going into our first semi-final it's important for these boys to overcome a lot of injuries and knocks."
Meanwhile, magistrate Jennifer Giles will announce her decision on whether the police prosecutor will have to pay Curtis Scott's legal fees of more than $100,000 on Friday.
Scott's lawyer Sam Macedone said his client was yet to decide whether to push ahead and sue NSW Police for his treatment, which included being woken up from underneath a fig tree, being handcuffed, pepper-sprayed and then tasered.
"I've always said it's his decision and he hasn't made it as far as I'm concerned and it was a case of one step at a time," Macedone said.
"Let's see what happens [Friday] and he can decide what he wants to do.
"He certainly hasn't given me any instructions to go ahead and do that at this stage."
NRL ROUND 20
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v Cronulla Sharks at Kogarah Oval, 5.30pm.
Raiders squad: 1. Adam Cook 2. Semi Valemei 3. Matt Timoko 4. Harley Smith-Shields 5. Nick Cotric 6. Matt Frawley 7. Sam Williams (C) 8. Dunamis Lui 9. Tom Starling 10. Sia Soliola 11. Hudson Young 12. Corey Harawira-Naera 13. Siliva Havili. Interchange: 14. Kai O'Donnell 15. Ryan Sutton 16. Darby Medlyn 17. Jarrett Subloo. Reserves: 18. Ata Mariota 19. Joe Tapine 20. Jack Wighton 21. Elliott Whitehead.
Sharks squad: 1. Will Kennedy 2. Nene Macdonald 3. Mawene Hiroti 4. Jesse Ramien 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Wade Graham 7. Connor Tracey 8. Braden Hamlin-Uele 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Aaron Woods 11. Briton Nikora 12. Siosifa Talakai 13. Toby Rudolf. Interchange: 14. Scott Sorensen 15. Jack Williams 16. Andrew Fifita 17. Teig Wilton. Reserves: 8. Billy Magoulias 19. Braydon Trindall 20. Bryson Goodwin 21. Daniel Vasquez.