Dylan Walker 'probably deserved' punch in the face

Oliver Caffrey

Manly serial niggler Dylan Walker "probably deserved" to be punched in the face, according to Cronulla veteran Luke Lewis.

Debate has raged in the NRL after Melbourne Storm centre Curtis Scott fractured Walker's eye socket during a spiteful clash at AAMI Park last Saturday night.

The two engaged in a running war-of-words during the game before Scott snapped by punching Walker as he became the first NRL player to be sent off in a game since 2015.

Walker will be on the sidelines for up to six weeks as a result of the punch, while Scott earned a two-match ban.

Speaking on NRL 360, two-time premiership winner Lewis believes Walker was lucky to avoid joining Scott with a red-card.

Manly's Dylan Walker (L) "probably deserved" to get punched according to Cronulla's Luke Lewis. Pic: Supplied

"I don't condone it, fighting, but personally I think Dylan Walker probably deserved it," Lewis said on the Fox League program.

"(Walker) sort of went out the way to give Curtis Scott a good push in the back.

"I believe Dylan Walker started the fight because Curtis Scott walked away and then he came away and initiated it.

"Our game definitely can't get down the track of letting punches go again, but if you send one (off the ground), you've got to send two."

While Walker has arguably received more negative feedback than Scott following the incident, his Sea Eagles skipper Daly Cherry-Evans backed his teammate.

Cherry-Evans says he won't be telling Walker to tone his sledging down when he returns from injury.

"No way, Mick Ennis never had to," Cherry-Evans said.

"It's a part of the game. He certainly wasn't the only one out there talking a bit of rubbish either.

"It's a part of rugby league. This time it led to some action."