South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett concedes the club has a fight on their hands to defend George Burgess over an alleged eye-gouging incident in the 14-9 loss to Wests Tigers on Thursday.
Bennett indicated he had not seen conclusive evidence to suggest Robbie Farah's claims of an eye gouge were correct but was left disappointed the English prop put himself in another position to come under scrutiny.
If Burgess is charged by the NRL match review committee on Friday it will be second incident of a similar nature in the last eight months.
He was suspended for four matches last year after being found guilty of an eye gouge on Dallin Watene-Zelezniak during a Test match in England. The ban rolled over into the start of the 2019 Telstra Premiership season.
It's understood Burgess apologised to Farah immediately after the clash. Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire chose not to comment on the matter.
"Obviously there was a hand there on the face but after that looking at the big screen that's all I could see once or twice," Bennett said.
Match Highlights: Wests Tigers v Rabbitohs
"I can't definitely say it was an eye gouge or what it was but there was definitely a hand on the face there's no doubt about that.
"I thought it was more on the forehead. I can certainly say that [it was ill-disciplined], there was certainly no need for him to put himself in that position for a start. I'm not condemning him for it in the sense that I'm not sure if his fingers made contact with the eye or not.
"But the point is it was just totally unwanted anyway. He's been good this year, he's just had a moment. I wish I could tell you why they have those moments.
"It should've been the last thing on his mind. They were just about to score a try there."
The incident capped a forgetful night for the Rabbitohs, who slumped to their fourth consecutive loss as the Wests Tigers rallied late with a try to Michael Chee-Kam.
Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds made a solid return from a back injury despite suffering a scare in the first half when his leg was caught awkwardly in a tackle.
Ultimately the side's completion rate late left the game within the Tigers' reach late.
"That's been our problem the last couple of weeks, just executing. We had a lot of opportunities tonight, we made more line breaks than they did but just didn't finish them," Bennett said.
"I'm not happy obviously but it is what it is so we've just got to go back and get, stay at it and get everyone on board.
"I know what works so I've got to get them knowing what works as well."
George Burgess referred straight to judiciary over Farah incident