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Manly rally behind 'family man' Addin Fonua-Blake, say under-fire prop shouldn't be punished more for ref abuse

Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans says Addin Fonua-Blake should not face further punishment beyond his two-game ban for referee abuse and anti-vilification breach.

Fonua-Blake is expected to meet with NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo today, after the game's boss declared the forward had broken their anti- vilification code.

The Manly firebrand first landed in hot water for calling a referee a "f****** r*****" in the Sea Eagles' loss to Newcastle, before a second spray post-match emerged.

It's claimed Fonua-Blake called referees spastics, and questioned if their eyes were painted on.

Both Fonua-Blake and Manly have since claimed the second outburst was not said directly to the referees, but rather in frustration while alone in the dressing rooms.

Vision also shows Fonua-Blake was up the tunnel before the referees entered.

Cherry-Evans insisted while Fonua-Blake had clearly made a mistake, the punishment handed down by the match review committee should be final.

"I would be very surprised if that happened (additional punishment)," Cherry- Evans said.

"I understand their (latest) frustration is towards the stuff that happened in the tunnel.

"But we have made it really clear that it was not any direct emotion or passion or words that have been directed to the official.

"I think as a player when you're in the tunnel, you're off the field, if you're venting your frustrations indirectly I think that's okay.

"Two games is a very big punishment based on the shortened season. Addin has owned his mistake and has been punished accordingly."

Fonua-Blake fronted Manly teammates on Monday morning and apologised for the incident, after doing likewise to referee Grant Atkins the previous night.

The NRL has indicated their next decision will likely be as much about education as it is any direct punishment.

Cherry-Evans, a leader for the game both on and off the field, said the whole incident had to be a lesson for everyone involved in the game.

"I have learned a lot watching this unfold as to how sensitive this word is," he said.

"I didn't understand the impact it has on some people. If we had of known that and had our time over again, that word wouldn't have been used.

"It's a valuable lesson for not just a lesson for rugby league, but society.

"We have to be extremely careful for the words we are using and language we are using."

Fonua-Blake's two-game ban comes as a massive blow for Manly, who are already without fullback Tom Trbojevic and Dylan Walker.

They have lost their last two games and slipped out of the top eight, and now face the next fortnight without their first-choice fullback, five-eighth, hooker and starting prop.

But they insisted they harboured no frustrations to Fonua-Blake for putting them in that position.

Instead, teammates also apologised for the incident on Wednesday and offered their support as a group for any children living with a disability.

"If it has offended any family or any kids out there, we're happy to have them at training and have a talk with them," veteran Joel Thompson said.

"We're a good club and we've got good people here, and Addin is one of them.

"He is a family man and is very remorseful."