Tackle issues: Sam Burgess is caught on camera in a no-go zone. Photo: Courtesy Channel 9Sam Burgess will miss two NRL matches after the South Sydney star pleaded guilty to a contrary contact charge for a “squirrel grip” tackle.
The England international today opted to take the early plea for the grade-one charge arising from an incident involving Melbourne centre Will Chambers in Friday’s loss to the Storm at AAMI Park.
In making a tackle, the imposing forward appeared to place his hands between the legs of Chambers, who remained prostrate on the ground afterwards.
Burgess’ loading from four prior offences means he will miss two blockbuster home games for the Rabbitohs, against third-placed Manly on Friday and fifth-placed Canterbury the following week. If Burgess fought the charge and lost, he still would have missed both fixtures.
The loss of the 24-year-old is a huge blow for the Rabbitohs, who have lost three of their last four matches to slip off the top of the ladder.
Burgess received the lowest grading contrary-conduct charge because camera angles obtained by the NRL match-review committee indicated he had merely “pinched” the testicles of Chambers rather than “grabbed a handful”.
The incident went largely unnoticed during the matchand Chambers did not complain at the time to match officials or afterwards to Storm officials.
However, the official responsible for reviewing the match had mentioned it for the panel to look into after Chambers lay writhing following a 68th-minute tackle by Burgess and another Rabbitoh.
A further five camera angles supplied by Channel Nine on Monday convinced the match-review committee to charge Burgess with grade-one contrary conduct.
There were no parallel cases that could be used as a precedent, as a similar allegation against Cronulla’s Paul Gallen in 2008, in which Gold Coast centre Josh Graham claimed “he grabbed my ‘wheels’ and gave them a bit of squeeze”, did not result in a judiciary charge.
The news caps off a difficult month for Souths, who are looking to win their first premiership in 43 years, after injuries hit star fullback Greg Inglis and five-eighth John Sutton.
Inglis is tipped to return for the Manly game at Bluetongue Stadium where the third-placed Sea Eagles will be able to close the gap to a single point on the ladder with a victory.
Manly are also facing the loss of key back-rower Anthony Watmough for the game.
Watmough hyperextended his knee in the win over the Warriors on Sunday and the club were still awaiting results of the scans on Monday to determine the extent of the damage sustained by the NSW and Test star.
AAP with Brad Walter
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.Read More →