Gold Coast captain Kevin Proctor has been sent off for allegedly biting Kiwis teammate Shaun Johnson in the Titans’ NRL clash with Cronulla.
Proctor was marched for the incident in which he appeared to bite the forearm of the Sharks halfback while being tackled, before a slanging match ensued.
The 32-year-old could be heard saying ‘you were choking me you f***ing sook’ before he was marched by referee Henry Perenara on 56 minutes.
Johnson left the field in the 64th minute, as a precaution, and later claimed in a post-match interview there was nothing in the incident with Proctor.
‘Nothing happened, let’s just leave it at that,’ Johnson said on Fox Sports.
‘We were both heated in the middle of the game.
‘I was a little bit high on him. Whatever happened happened and we’re still mates.’
Johnson claimed he would not do anything at the judiciary, but the off-contract Proctor – who was playing his 250th NRL game – is still likely to have a case to answer.
Johnson blew up on field at the time of the incident and Perenara could be heard saying ‘there’s a definite bite’ after the bunker reviewed it.
James Graham was the last man to be banned at the judiciary for biting after his high-profile attack on Billy Slater’s ear during the 2012 grand final, suspended for 12 matches.
Proctor became just the second player to be sent off this NRL season and the first during a match – after Manly enforcer Addin Fonua-Blake’s post-game spray at the referee in June.
The dismissal was checked with bunker officials before Proctor was sent off.
Saturday’s match at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium was level at 12-12 at the time of the second-half incident, before Cronulla jumped out to a 30-12 lead 18 minutes later.
Johnson later left the field with a groin injury in what could shape as a massive blow to Cronulla’s season.
Replays of the moment have been making the rounds on social media, with Twitter users calling Proctor calling him ‘disgusting’ and a ‘grub’ for his actions.
The Gold Coast Captain has signalled a desire to be part of the club’s successes after a series of dramas over the past few years.
The New Zealand international’s four seasons at the Titans haven’t featured too much joy on or off the field.
Proctor has witnessed two coaches get sacked and finished 14th, 15th and 16th in his first three full campaigns with the club.
He was stripped of his captaincy in 2017 after a cocaine scandal and will need to put on a strong performance to seal a new deal with the Gold Coast Titans.
Speaking after a victory against the Cowboys on August 9, Proctor spoke of his hopes at remaining with the club as they move into a bright future.
‘Obviously, I’d like to stay here but it is what it is, I know it’s all business at the end of the day,’ Proctor said.
‘I just like where the Titans are going and where we’re headed at the moment.
‘Being here when the time’s weren’t good, I’d like to be there when the times are good.’