Corey Waddell has been found guilty and will face five matches on the sideline after facing the judiciary on a charge of dangerous contact on Tuesday evening.
The match review committee levelled a charge of dangerous contact for alleged eye gouging against Waddell after his fingers appeared to make contact with the eye region of Titans' captain Tino Fa'asuamaleaui during Sunday's win at Parramatta's CommBank Stadium.
After over an hour of evidence and some further deliberation, the panel returned a verdict of guilty, eventually settling on a suspension of five matches.
As Waddell pled not guilty to the offence, he wasn't eligible for a one-week reduction as every other player who has been referred directly to the judiciary this season has been.
Waddell said at the time that he didn't believe he had done anything with intent or malice, while Fa'asuamaleaui also labelled the incident an accident, before pleasing not guilty to the charge.
The NRL's prosecution alleged that Waddell's fingers made clear contact with Fa'asuamaleaui's eye socket.
In explaining the tackle, Waddell said that he never applied any pressure to the face of Fa'asuamaleaui, and that he released his hand as quickly as he could.
"I got into the tackle anyway I could, and I found myself in what we call the “seatbelt” tackling position," Waddell said.
"I try and straighten the ball carrier so he gives up his base and loses control.
"I put my hand over Max's head and I found my hand on Tino's forehead. I didn’t apply any pressure to his face at all and then I tried to push my hips into his hips to push him back.
"With my right hand I tried to grab his jersey and shoulder. My purpose was to get him onto his back with my teammates falling on top of him.
"As I went over Max's head, I grabbed Tino’s forehead. At no stage do I apply any unnecessary or careless pressure to his face.
"As you can see as he starts to fall to the ground I release my hand. And then he grabbed my hand as he fell to the ground. At no stage were my fingers in or around his eyes."
The NRL's prosecution Mark Knowles then alleged Waddell's fingers were in the eye socket of Fa'asuamaleaui, with Waddell claiming his fingers were never in the eye.
"I believe in all honesty my fingers are across the bridge of his nose and the bottom of his forehead. You’re talking about the split of a second. My fingers were never in his eyes," he said.
"You’re talking about the photo, you can’t tell pressure based on a photo. You’re talking about a split second within this whole second. I understand my hands aren’t in the best spot and in a perfect world they would have been but at no pressure did I put pressure in his eyes."
In showing video of the incident, Knowles then implored the judiciary to see his point of view.
"Members of the judiciary, player Waddell is claiming that there is no pressure exerted from his right arm across the area of the face he was touching. It’s just implausible," he said.
"It barely needs to be said that the potential for damage is very serious indeed. There's a high degree of carelessness.
"He's giving evidence to protect his own position, rather than evidence of the truth off his recollection."
The issue of why Tino Fa'asuamaleaui was never called to give evidence was also raised by the defence as part of the hearing.