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South Sydney's Cinderella run to last year's NRL finals series has come at a cost, with the Rabbitohs fined more than $70,000 over salary cap breaches.
Six clubs were fined a total of $237,155 following an audit of all club's books from the 2007 season, down from the $464,849 in fines stemming from the 2006 season.
Souths were the hardest hit with a fine of $70,625, with Wests Tigers ($46,800), Canberra ($45,813), the Bulldogs ($25,000 with a further $25,000 suspended), premiers Melbourne ($13,917) and Brisbane ($10,000) also ordered to cough up.
While details of the breaches were not released by the NRL, the governing body claimed most of the fines were related to payments that had been disclosed but were accompanied by incorrect classifications.
NRL chief executive David Gallop said the audits showed that clubs were working hard to meet the demands of the cap.
"Even in the case of undisclosed payments that we detected there is a frank realisation from the club involved that a breach was committed," Gallop said.
"We must retain tough deterrents to ensure that all clubs continue to meet the procedures we have in place.
"Those procedures are the key to maintaining a level of scrutiny that ensures clubs are on a level playing field."