The NRL has announced it will undertake a review of the financial penalties it can impose for rule breaches after serving Broncos prop Payne Haas a $50,000 fine and a three-game suspension for intimidating police.
Haas issued a second public apology on Monday for the January 16 incident that led to him pleading guilty to two counts of intimidating Tweed Heads police.
The 21-year-old avoided a criminal conviction last week but was issued a two-year good behaviour bond when he fronted Tweed Heads Local court.
The NSW Origin prop said he would accept the punishment after being served the NRL breach notice, with the $50,000 fine amounting to roughly nine per cent of Haas's Brisbane salary.
It is the maximum amount Haas could be fined by the league under the NRL Rules.
Haas suspended for three matches
NRL CEO Andrew Abdo has flagged formal consultation with the Rugby League Players Association around increasing financial penalties for off-field incidents.
Speaking on Monday, Abdo stressed a review of education policies and programs would also take place, with any increase in fines to only be one facet of a more holistic approach to player behaviour.
"Payne’s conduct was unacceptable. There are no excuses for any form of abuse towards our police force. Any player who intimidates police will be dealt with severely," he said.
Payne’s conduct was unacceptable.Andrew Abdo
"It's been a number of years since we reviewed and had a look at our penalty regime and what the cap is for the players.
"As part of his sanction, Payne is required to participate in an appropriate education program and engage in community service as directed by the NRL.
"Since then a lot of things have happened and changed. The salary cap is significantly higher than it was in previous years.
"The financial economy has changed. But equally there's a small group of players that are continuing to transgress in areas that are really important to us that's not up to the standards we expect at the NRL and certainly the standards the community expect.
"We're not just reviewing the penalties, we're also reviewing our education program and we will do this in consultation with the RLPA.
"This is not a knee-jerk reaction. This is not just about fixing one thing, you have to look at the whole system.
"You have to create incentives, you have to create consequences, and most importantly, you have to create an environment where people can be the best that they can be.
"Of course, [players] make mistakes from time to time. But we need to make sure we address that and people aren't making the same mistake twice."
It is the second time in three years that an off-field incident will rub Haas out of starting Brisbane's season after he copped a four-game ban and $20,000 fine for refusing to co-operate with an NRL Integrity Unit investigation in 2019.
He will miss the club's season-opening clash with Parramatta at Suncorp Stadium, as well as games against the Titans and Bulldogs.
Haas will also undergo an education program and complete community service as part of the penalty issued by the NRL.
Abdo said that community work is still being worked through with the Broncos and will be aimed at "giving some empathy toward people that have suffered from violence, whether it be verbal attacks or physical attacks ... and the great work police have done for us."
In arriving at a $50,000 fine, Abdo said the NRL Integrity Unit balanced the impact of Haas's playing suspension on Brisbane and their fans, and the financial impact on the individual.
Haas fronted the media in Brisbane after the NRL handed down its penalty, saying he was abstaining from alcohol after the incident last month.
"I take full responsibility for what happened at Tweed Heads and take full responsibility for my actions on that night," Haas said.
"I'm sorry for my actions on that night, I accept the punishment handed down by the NRL and must use my time out of the game now to reflect on my behaviour.
"I really appreciate the police that took the time to sit down with me and explain what they felt and how my actions affected them.
"It has reinforced how poor my actions and behaviour were and that hits home for me."