Melbourne Storm lock Dale Finucane doesn't believe teammate Curtis Scott will face on-field reprisals when he returns from a two-match ban for punching.
The 20-year old Storm centre was lucky to avoid a longer ban after he punched Manly's Dylan Walker and fractured his left eye socket during the Storms' 24-4 loss to the Sea Eagles on Saturday night.
The suspension was met with some dismay considering Walker is expected to miss up to six weeks from his injury, but under NRL rules Scott was offered a three-game ban with an early plea or a four-game penalty if he challenged it and lost.
Because he was sent off for the incident, Scott also received a 28-point discount on his 300-point (three-game) penalty, which reduced the suspension to two games and 72 carryover points.
Scott issued an apology via the Storm on Sunday and Finucane said he didn't expect Scott would face any blowback on the field.
"I don't think so necessarily," Finucane said.
"I guess there are probably some individuals in the game that like to play that way, I don't think anything will come towards Curtis."
The Storm, however, can expect a fierce reception from Manly fans when they face the Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval on July 14.
Finucane added his premiership teammate needed to cool his temper and he expected he would do so.
"Craig spoke after the game in his presser about Curtis and keeping his cool," Finucane said.
"That's something he's going to be exposed to during games.
"He needs to have a cooler temper and react a little differently next time."
While the Storm are working to fix the handling issues that marred the loss to the Sea Eagles, Finucane will bring up his 150th game when they face North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville on Friday night.
He also has eyes for a New South Wales debut after training with the Blues at the back end of last year's State of Origin series.
Finucane feared his Origin hopes were dashed after he fractured his thumb earlier this season, but he revealed Blues coach Brad Fittler reached out to him after his injury.
"Brad Fittler sent me a text message after I done my thumb just letting me know that I'd been going well and that sort of thing," Finucane said.
"It was just a courtesy message to say you are going well and all the best. I haven't had any further contact but I would love to play for my state, it's something I'd love to achieve at some stage of my career."
Whether Finucane is named in the Blues side for game one is uncertain but he admitted it was a boost to know Fittler was watching him.
The Storm were critical of Blues selectors in past seasons for not giving enough attention to the likes of Finucane or other recent players.
"It's a boost to know you are in the thoughts of the selectors," Finucane said.
"The period of the year when I did my thumb, I was probably thinking it would harm my chances but I've had the opportunity to come back and play a few games so we will see what happens."
The Storm face North Queensland Cowboys at Townsville on Friday at 7.30pm.
Roy Ward is a Sports writer for The Age.
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