St George Illawarra NRLW coach Daniel Lacey has been left fuming by the judiciary process that will leave the Dragons without star forward Teuila Fotu-Moala for the remainder of the season.
Fotu-Moala was hit with a grade two dangerous contact charge following her side's loss to Brisbane on Sunday under the same judiciary code as the men's premiership.
It saw her facing a base penalty of three matches that could be reduced to two games - the remainder of the regular season - with an early guilty plea.
The club elected to plead guilty but seek a downgrade that would have seen her hit with carryover points but not miss a match but was unsuccessful at the judiciary on Tuesday night.
Rarely anything but measured in his media comments, Lacey was left "baffled" with several aspects of the process.
"Considering the offence wasn't picked up on the field by the two referees and the bunker we thought we had a good case to answer to the severity and the grading," he said.
"For someone with a really clean record - who's played six years with the Kiwis and hardly given away a high tackle - to commit an offence to that extent and get the whole season off is very severe.
"We put a lot of time into this. I've put 10 months into this and I've tried to get Teuila to the club for two years, she's big signing for us, one our marquee players.
"We're not disputing the guilt of the incident but the grading of it and the fact it didn't go down just baffles me. You've got to look at the severity of the charge and the severity of the punishment. It's very severe."
Lacey also questioned why the club wasn't allowed to cite similar incidents from the men's game as precedents in its efforts to see the charge downgraded.
"It's absurd to think that the competition has the same points system as the boys yet we can't compare it to any of the boys incidents so we had no way to challenge the grading in that sense," he said.
"We say we want the 'same game our way' but it's the same game the boys way with their points system.
"It was brought up in one of the [pre-season] meetings about the points system and it was also brought up by numerous CEO's about the severity of the charge in comparison to the boys season.
"They could miss a trial game out of this and play by round one, but we get to miss the entire premiership and Teuila could miss a Test match out of it. It definitely needs to be fixed up."
Lacey said he'll leave it to the club to make its feelings known to the governing body through the official channels as he switches his focus to Sunday's do-or-die clash with the Warriors in Auckland.
"I'm leaving that up to the club, I've got the team to focus on I've Teuila's best interests at heart to," he said.
"She's gutted so I want her around the group so we can pick her back up. I think we turned a corner at training this week, we needed some spark in us and the girls are really going to dig deep at this time."