Footy divided over dirty NRL controversy
The footy world is divided over whether Gold Coast star Kevin Proctor bit Shaun Johnson on Saturday afternoon.
The Titans star was sent off for biting Johnson's arm in Cronulla's 30-18 win but he has vigorously denied any wrongdoing, saying he will fight to clear his name when he fronts the judiciary this week.
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If found guilty, Proctor faces a lengthy stint on the sideline.
But the people in charge of determining the second-rower's fate have their work cut out if the reaction from NRL figures is anything to go by, with rugby league legends and commentators split on whether Proctor has a case to answer or not.
IT IS A BITE
Speaking on Fox League's Super Saturday, ex-Queensland playmaker and NRL 360 host Ben Ikin said: "We all saw a bite. He (Proctor) clearly thinks that he didn't bite him on purpose.
"Based on what I've seen thus far, that looks and smells like a bite to me."
Former NSW five-eighth Braith Anasta was in Ikin's camp.
"I agree. I called the game, I watched it live, I still think it's a bite" he said.
"The fact that he's so strong on it, I'm starting to doubt myself a little bit … but unless I'm going crazy I still believe it is a bite."
Daily Telegraph rugby league reporter Phil Rothfield is in no doubt Proctor is guilty. He said Proctor's clean record - having only been charged once in 2012 in his 12-year NRL career - is colouring people's views because they don't want to believe the 31-year-old veteran could possibly bite an opponent.
"To be honest, I can't believe so many people like Laurie (Daley) and Paul Gallen yesterday and Phil Gould are trying to defend him, I really can't," Rothfield said on the Big Sports Breakfast.
"I thought the video evidence was clear.
"I have no doubt it was a bite."
IT IS NOT A BITE
Canberra legend Laurie Daley, Queensland coach great Kevin Walters and ex-Sharks captain Paul Gallen are among those in Proctor's corner.
"I didn't think it was a bite," Daley told the Big Sports Breakfast.
"I just didn't think it was a classic bite. I didn't see a biting action. I see an open mouth and I see some pressure, but I don't see a bite.
"If I'm sitting on that panel, I can't justify giving him 8-12 weeks for that. And there's no point giving him a guilty charge and giving him a two-week penalty.
"It's either you bite or you don't bite, and I'm erring on the side of no bite because I don't think there was a biting motion. I don't think he was clamping down on his arm.
"I didn't see that. I saw pressure, I saw an open mouth, but I didn't see a clench."
Walters said "I don't think it was a bite" - a view echoed by Gallen.
"I don't think he bit him at all," Gallen told Nine. "I thought it was a really tough decision on the Titans.
"The fact Shaun Johnson is pushing his arm into his mouth, he felt his bottom row of teeth.
"At no point, from the vision I've seen, can I see Kevin Proctor's mouth biting or chomping down on Shaun's arm. So, I've got to say, I don't think he bit him."
Channel 9 commentator Phil Gould agreed with Gallen, saying he was "100 per cent right".
"There's no way in the world he's bitten him. Stop worrying about what Proctor does in this tackle, look at what Shaun Johnson does not do," Gold said.
"Shaun Johnson never goes to pull his arm away. He releases his hand from the grip of his shoulder.
"When he finally gets his arm away, there's no reaction to look at his arm and see what's happened.
"There's been absolutely no pain whatsoever. Kevin Proctor did not bite Shaun Johnson in any way, shape or form.
"I've been bitten. I've been bitten by the best. You know it and it hurts, and you react. Shaun Johnson did not react like a man that had been bitten."
Originally published as Footy divided over dirty NRL controversy