Latrell Mitchell and Josh Addo-Carr have been fined by NSW Police for breaking social-distancing laws as the NRL continues to investigate their weekend gathering near Taree.
Mitchell admitted on Instagram the Kangaroos stars had "slipped up", as he and the Melbourne winger both apologised for their behaviour amid a pandemic.
Photos posted by Addo-Carr showed the pair with 10 other men around a fire, prompting the NRL to label the pictures as disappointing and unacceptable.
The fine also came on the same day the league further pushed its claim for a return, discussing its strict biosecurity rules with clubs on Monday afternoon.
But Mitchell insisted they did not mean to flout rules imposed by the federal and state governments to stem the coronavirus pandemic.
"I have been up here with my family for four or five weeks practising social distancing," Mitchell said in a video.
"It was a little bit of a slip up.
"Foxy (Addo-Carr) reached out, his cousins are going through a bit of stuff up in Sydney.
"He just wanted to get up to the bush and make sure they were getting cultured and connected again.
"That was the whole part of the concept of what the weekend was.
"I wasn't here to break any rules or hurt anyone.
"We're not being selfish, I couldn't turn down the brothers in a time of need.
"On behalf of Foxy and all my mob, we do want to apologise."
Newcastle are also investigating the involvement of Tyronne Roberts-Davis after their NRL squad member was seen in one of Addo-Carr's photos.
A repentant Addo-Carr said "nothing was intentional or deliberate" as he tried to "put a smile on the faces" of family members going through a tough time.
But the NSW Police decided they had broken health rules, slapping the trio with a fine late on Monday afternoon.
Under NSW guidelines people can only leave the house for work, essential shopping, exercise, medical appointments and compassionate visits.
"Three men, two aged 22 and one aged 24 are in the process of being issued with penalty infringement notices for breaches of a public health older," a police spokeswoman said.
"Manning Great Lakes Police commenced an investigation into a reported gathering at a rural property near Taree on Saturday in contravention of current administerial directions."
The trouble may not stop there for the players though, with the NRL's integrity unit still going through its own processes.
All players agreed to health and safety protocols when the competition was stopped for the shutdown.
Melbourne had earlier said they'd leave any punishment of their winger to relevant authorities, while South Sydney said they'd ensure Mitchell cooperated.
The drama could not have come at a worse time for the NRL as it attempts to convince the government it can safely resume its season on May 28, ahead of other major codes.
In news that will relieve the league though, Australia's chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said the actions of the pair would not influence any government decision.
But it didn't stop the NRL from being upset.
"On face value, the image in today's media is both disappointing and an unacceptable breach of health orders," the NRL said in a statement.
"The NRL will be speaking to the players involved to seek further information and we will ensure the players provide any assistance authorities require.
"Our players are role models and we expect them to lead by example during this pandemic."
Under proposed NRL biosecuity rules for the season resumption, players would stay home - with no visitors allowed - except when training, playing, making visits to the doctor and doing essential food shopping.
The NRL has threatened teams with the loss of points and heavy fines if any player breaks the rules, and say they will further educate players before next week's planned resumption of training.