Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has taken a dim view of Andrew Fifita's latest courting of controversy with the Sharks issuing the star prop a written warning for delivering an expletive-laden criticism of a veteran league journalist.
In the same week that he apologised to the club and teammates for an on-field spray directed at Cronulla's coaches box, Fifita and Josh Dugan were called before Sharks CEO Barry Russell for their comments about NewsCorp journalist Phil Rothfield on The Halfcast podcast.
Dugan is expected to receive a similar reprimand from the club, with Fifita also likely to be banned from further appearances on the UFC-themed show hosted by fighters Tyson Pedro and Tai Tuivasa.
"It's a terrible distraction," Flanagan told NRL.com of Fifita's latest off-field incident.
"But we'll make sure that we won't use it as an excuse. At this time of the year I've got to concentrate on getting the team to play football each weekend."
Flanagan deferred to Russell and the club's board when asked about an impending punishment for the representative pair.
It's understood Fifita has been reminded of his obligations to the code of conduct that binds his contract with the Sharks.
Dugan had been scheduled to front the media on Thursday morning before being pulled by the club after the podcast's airing a day earlier.
Fifita has previously raised eyebrows by announcing his representative allegiance using the forum, and took aim at Rothfield's reporting when conversation was directed towards the media.
"I just don't know how they (football journalists) are all on TV, and they can talk on football," Fifita said.
"Excuse my French, but (Rothfield) is a complete f---wit."