The Canberra Raiders have been left "perplexed" by the NRL's decision to tack an extra four weeks and $30,000 fine onto a club-imposed sanction for Jack Wighton.
Late last month, Wighton pleaded guilty to five assault charges and a public urination charge over an incident outside a Canberra nightclub in February.
On Monday, the club decided to suspend the full-back for six weeks, but the league still had the right to add further punishment if need be.
On Thursday, NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said it would "warrant a stronger action" and today the Raiders found out just what that action would be.
They were none too pleased to discover they would be without Wighton for the rest of the season, unless they make an improbable finals run.
Club chairman Allan Hawke said the Raiders stood by their initial punishment.
"We're disappointed to learn the NRL does not agree with this punishment and feel they have to come over the top and add a further four weeks and a monetary fine to the penalty," he said.
"This penalty is excessive, as Jack still has to face further penalties imposed by the ACT magistrate and Galambany courts.
"We are perplexed as to why the NRL felt the need to impose further punishment before this process was concluded and it sets an extraordinary precedent to the way matters are handled by clubs in the future.
"In light of this, it appears clubs don't really have a role in imposing penalties on their own employees, so perhaps it's time for the NRL and its integrity unit to decide these matters, so that there will be a consistent approach for future offences."
CCTV footage sealed Wighton's fate with the NRL
The NRL's stronger sanction came after Greenberg viewed CCTV footage of the assaults.
Court documents describe the footage, saying Wighton left Academy nightclub at 2:45am on February 3 and walked next door to a restaurant called Akiba.
According to the statement of facts tendered to the court, the first victim was leaning against the front of the restaurant when Wighton approached him and, despite another man trying to pull him away, punched him in the torso, then the head, followed by two headbutts.
After this, the documents go on, another man approached Wighton and appeared to try to shake his hand, but Wighton instead took his hand, hit him in the chest, pursued him and punched him in the face.
About 10 minutes later, according to the description of the video, Wighton stepped onto the road, kneeled down and starting urinating on a bollard.
Three men then called out to him and pointed at a wet patch on his knee, at which point Wighton approached them and said: "Is there a problem?"
The footage then apparently shows Wighton punch and headbutt one of them, punch another in the face and body, before the second man hit him back. A scuffle ensued in which Wighton also punched the third man.
Police went to Wighton's house on March 1, but he declined to participate in a recorded interview, the documents said.
On March 20, police interviewed the man who was with Wighton, who identified both of them as the people in the footage.