Burgess charge could hurt Souths

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    South Sydney face the prospect of losing star forward Sam Burgess for two matches after the Englishman was charged with contrary conduct by the match review committee.

    Burgess was slugged with a grade one charge for an alleged ‘squirrel grip’ on Melbourne centre Will Chambers in Friday’s defeat by the Storm at AAMI Park.

    Making a tackle, Burgess appeared to place his hands between the legs of Chambers, who remained prostrate on the ground afterwards.

    While the charge itself only carries a base penalty of one week, Burgess’ loading from four prior offences means he would miss two matches even with an early guilty plea.

    The loss of the 24-year-old would be a huge blow for the Rabbitohs who’ve lost three of their last four matches to slip off the top of the ladder.

    Should he plead guilty he would miss facing a red-hot Manly on Friday in Gosford followed by the meeting with a Canterbury side who are gunning for a top-four spot.

    Souths made the unusual step of issuing a statement on Monday afternoon to say they’re considering their options and would be assessing the incident.

    But there’s a good chance the club will opt to roll the dice and fight the charge as Burgess will not be punished for a longer spell should he challenge the match review committee’s ruling in front of the NRL judiciary on Wednesday evening and lose.

    The news caps off a difficult month for Souths, who are looking to win a first premiership in 43 years, with injuries hitting fullback Greg Inglis and five-eighth John Sutton.

    Inglis is tipped to return for the Manly game at Bluetongue Stadium with the third-placed Sea Eagles able to close the gap to a single point on the ladder with a victory.

    Burgess isn’t the first player to be accused of the squirrel grip in the NRL.

    In 2008 Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen was accused of squeezing the testicles of former Gold Coast utility Josh Graham.

    Gallen wasn’t charged for the incident due to a lack of evidence but Graham was adamant at the time claiming the NSW star had “squeezed his wheels”.

    Manly are also facing the loss of key back-rower Anthony Watmough for the game.

    Watmough hyper-extended 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.

    Brisbane are coming to terms with the news Justin Hodges will be sidelined for up to a year after rupturing his Achilles tendon in the Broncos’ narrow win over St George Illawarra.

    The victory kept alive their flickering finals hopes, but without Hodges the Broncos have struggled in attack for large spells this season.

    However, hooker Andrew McCullough insists the team will have to learn how to win games without the representative centre, starting against Parramatta on Friday.

    “It is sad for Hodgo but in saying that he would want us to play well, turn it around against Parra and take steps from there,” McCullough said.

    “It can’t hinge on one person being injured.

    “Someone has to fill that void. He (Hodges) would want someone to get that job done.”

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    The Crowd Says (45)

    • August 13th 2013 @ 3:18am
      des' right hand said | August 13th 2013 @ 3:18am | ! Report

      And it will. Manly 13+

      • August 13th 2013 @ 6:43am
        eagleJack said | August 13th 2013 @ 6:43am | ! Report

        Please no predictions. Even without S. Burgess Souths have a great pack. Manly have lost Watmough so the 2 cancel each other out. With GI returning they are an extremely formidable side.

        On the incident itself, I have no idea what Sam was thinking. The lowest act of 2013 by a significant margin. It deserves more than 2 weeks.

        • August 13th 2013 @ 10:13am
          mushi said | August 13th 2013 @ 10:13am | ! Report

          I don’t get the two weeks either. It’s cowardly and only ever done to cause extreme pain with not practical game application – I’d think 5 games on the sideline a more fitting punishment.

    • August 13th 2013 @ 6:55am
      Shag On A Rock said | August 13th 2013 @ 6:55am | ! Report

      Odd that Channel Nine sends the judiciary film suggesting that it was only a wedgie (which it wasn’t), but doesn’t pass along the footage of an angry Sam abusing Chambers only a minute before the vicious groper tackle. It was payback. Expect Grubby Sam to get off because that’s what Channel Nine wants. Blake Ferguson got stood down for allegedly touching a girl on the crotch but the Pommie Show Pony does the same thing to a bloke and he isn’t immediately stood down. Sam works for Channel Nine. That’s the difference.

    • August 13th 2013 @ 7:26am
      liatrevlis said | August 13th 2013 @ 7:26am | ! Report

      Wow the poms love chewn and squeezn, what’s with those blokes , hey should be playn for the tiges

    • August 13th 2013 @ 7:28am
      Chui said | August 13th 2013 @ 7:28am | ! Report

      How do you only get two weeks for squirrel gripping?

      In fact he would only have gotten one week without the prior loadings.

      Welcome to the untouchables club Sam Burgess. Just sit on the end next to Slater.

    • August 13th 2013 @ 7:41am
      Shag On A Rock said | August 13th 2013 @ 7:41am | ! Report

      Channel Nine want its media darling Burgess off the charge and there’s a campaign to do it. Paul Crawley, the brother of Nine sports boss Steve, wrote an article today in the Telegraph trivilising the act. Gould and Sterling twitter comments that it was only a wedgie. Nine releases innocuous footage that got the charge downgraded to the lowest level, while ignoring film a minute earlier showing Burgess abusing Chambers, which, obviously, suggests that the act was premeditated and revenge. On top of that, the fact that in 2007 Burgess accused Leon Pryce of St Helens of grabbing his genitals in a tackle is ignored, even though Sam’s complaint got Pryce 3 weeks suspension. What a joke!

    • August 13th 2013 @ 8:16am
      Pot Stirrer said | August 13th 2013 @ 8:16am | ! Report

      So who’s worse ? Hoppa or Burgess, I cant choose, But isnt what Burgess did basically what Fergusson has been criminaly charged with only its the opposite sex and it was on the footy field.

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