Footage has emerged of a shocking off-the-ball hit to the face that was not cited by the NRL match review committee -- after being missed by the on-field referees.
Penrith winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak required treatment after being whacked by Manly opposite Matthew Wright during the first half of the Panthers' win over the Sea Eagles in last Saturday's qualifying final.
Watene-Zelezniak and Nathan Cleary tackled Wright in his own half, with the Manly player getting to his feet unhappy and shaping to shove Watene-Zelezniak.
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But the Penrith man still had his arms up after the tackle and his forearm caught Wright's head, separating the two players.
Watene-Zelezniak had his eyes on the ball, which had moved into the middle of the field, when Wright struck his jaw.
A portion of the Allianz Stadium crowd appeared to react to the incident but the nearby referee, who appeared to be watching the aftermath closely, let it go unpunished.
Images from the night showed the bloody aftermath on Watene-Zelezniak's face, but the 22-year-old believes Wright did not strike him with a clenched fist.
"It was more of a palm, it didn't really rattle me too much," he told AAP.
"There was a lot of banter but I try not to get caught up in that too much or else I lose focus on my own game.
"I just tried to give it back in tackles."
Aware that he had "rocked" Wright, Watene-Zelezniak didn't believe the prior tackle was anything untoward.
"I felt like it (was legal)," he said.
"I don't know if it looked like it. But when I got up he was a bit angry at me."
Tempers boiled over when the two sides met in round 26, with Sea Eagles centre Dylan Walker relentlessly trash-talking the Panthers and successfully getting under their skins.
Watene-Zelezniak said he refuses to engage in niggling tactics, sticking to football.
"It puts people off their game when they get into that kind of stuff," Watene-Zelezniak said.
"You've just got to get them back the right way and win the game.
"We spoke about (Manly's niggling) it but it wasn't our main focus, we just wanted to work on the areas where we went wrong the week before. It turned out really good for us."
Manly coach Trent Barrett was fined $20,000 by the NRL after complaining about the Bunker following Saturday's match.