SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 21: George Burgess tosses a ball during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval on March 21, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

George Burgess will once again come under scrutiny from the match review committee after elbowing Bulldogs prop Aiden Tolman twice in the head, while brother Sam Burgess could also be facing time on the sidelines after a blatant shoulder charge.

After already spending time on the sidelines for a brain snap earlier in the season where he lashed out with his elbow at Knights forward Mitchell Barnett, George Burgess could be hit with another suspension after repeatedly using his elbow in another show of poor discipline.

The Rabbitohs forward repeatedly used his elbows to attack the head of Tolman during a tackle. It seems likely he’ll once again front the match review committee and will likely sit on the sidelines for a few more weeks.

Surprisingly he found support in an unlikely place, with Tolman suggesting there wasn’t that much to the incident.

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“There wasn’t much in it. It’s just one of those things in rugby league. You can’t punch anymore so you’ve got to do something else,” Tolman said.

“It didn’t cop me too much. Most tackles are sort of that brutal anyway. They got the penalty for it. I didn’t feel anything from it. He’s a big man. If it connected I’d probably be laying on the ground.”

The news gets worse for the Rabbitohs with Sam Burgess also likely to come under review for a shoulder charge in the early minutes of the match on Bulldogs forward Greg Eastwood.

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  1. “after a blatant shoulder charge”, “repeatedly used his elbows to attack the head of Tolman” AND “SURPRISINGLY he found support in an unlikely place, with Tolman suggesting there wasn’t that much to the incident.”

    Well done Zero Tackle, great examples of editorialising and trial by media! What exactly IS classed as a shoulder charge in any case? In recent years they said there needs to be “separation” of the arm from the torso which there was in this case. It seems a ridiculous business to ban players for using the shoulder (WITH separation) in a tackle yet players running the ball can lift a forearm to a defenders head or throat and aren’t even penalised. Seems like double standards to me.

    • SSTID, the shoulder charge rule was changed in pre season by the NRL. There are two things they look at now. Was it forceful and did the player make an attempt to use his arms or hands to make the tackle. While it’s not the crime of the century, it was forceful enough to knock over a player who didn’t have the ball and there was no attempt to use the arms or hands. Definite suspension as a grade one is worth 200 points.

      As for George, he is lucky he isn’t still serving a suspension for his last elbowing incident which was worse than today’s effort. Will probably miss a couple of weeks due to the similar prior offence from last month.

      • No question George is a goose and has to learn the lesson elbows are NOT acceptable under ANY circumstances. Neither however is twisting the head or neck of a player (which is what happened to George at the time). Jiu jitsu and wrestling moves should be banned from the game particularly where head/neck, arms and legs are targeted and put under stress in order to force a player to submit to the tackle. What Josh Maguire did last night, wrapping his legs around a players ankle and then falling to the ground and applying pressure, is an intentional ploy to deliberately injure a player. When penalised he smirked as he went back to join the defensive line. Clearly he KNEW what he was doing.

        What about the countless players (JWH comes to mind but ALL teams do it) that take the ball up and then at the last minute raise their elbow and forearm as a defensive guard into a defending players face or throat! Where is the protection for the defending player in the rules and why is this not penalised each time it happens?

        In close games when a team needs a penalty I am tired of seeing players running the ball and then falling forward or ducking into tackles at the last minute to force contact to the head. Let’s not be naïve and say this doesn’t happen, it does! The refs get conned all the time as teams are coached and become experts on how to force the referees to penalise teams. Case in point (and all teams do it) but Michael Lichaa throwing the ball into Jason Clark to win a penalty is another example of how players are schooled to win penalties. YES Clark was caught in the ruck and YES it appears to be a ploy ALL teams are adopting this year, along with players moving forwards and sideways off the mark to play the ball and thus putting defenders in this position. At the end of the day Lichaa intentionally passed the ball from a crouched stance to ensure that Clark would obstruct the pass. Had he simply stood up he could have easily passed over him but CHOSE not to!

        In the case of Sam Burgess, what is a player suppose to do when someone over 100 Kg has a long run up and is heading straight for you, disappear? Is he suppose to passively stand there and get steam rolled? The decoy runner made no attempt to pull up and was the one who was forcing contact. I think (as the commentators said at the time) it was a pretty soft penalty. In the case Will Chambers he changed his line to stop Wade Graham’s progress so that is a different story but when a decoy runner elects to run into a defender at speed without attempting to pull up or change their line they are fair game for mine!

        • “Lichaa intentionally passed the ball from a crouched stance to ensure that Clark would obstruct the pass”. I must admit it did look intentional, but I ruled it out, because it was Lichaa “hitting his target”. Just kidding.

          George should sit a few games out. It as dumb, unnecessary, and blatant thuggery.

          Sam’s? I’d be pleading not guilty to the charge, but I think it’s 50/50.

          The Bunnies game. Dear oh dear. Maybe after the millionth time they passed to Sutton deep in attack they could have changed it up a bit, or at least put a mask on him, to make it harder for the defenders to pick him out.

        • All your points are fair but are separate issues from the Burgess brothers issues except for the Jitsu moves which are dangerous.

          As for Sam, I believe he had at least two seconds from when the play passed by to take a step out of Eastwoods way. My opinion is that he could have avoided contact if he wanted to. I accept that won’t be everyone’s opinion.

        • “he had at least two seconds from when the play passed by to take a step out of Eastwoods way”

          And Greg Eastwood had the same two seconds correct? Where do the rules state that the defensive line has to make way for an on coming decoy runner? The same responsibility rests on the attacking player to pull up. It seems you are happy to go after Souths when you think you have a case. I will be watching the Raiders just as closely rest assured.

        • I saw the McGuire tackle and I saw him smiling after it too when Ryan James went down. Such a scumbag that guy. Very disgraceful to laugh at a player injured.

        • Worse, he was TRYING to injure him! The phrase against “the spirit of the game” has no meaning when “the spirit of the game” is all about getting the two points! McGuire’s dog shot on a team mate in a training drill (hit late and hard without the ball AT TRAINING) is further proof of his lack of character. True grub!

        • Mate there’s no conspiracy, earlier this week I was wrapping Cody Walker as the form half in the game. Pretty sad that you think me expressing an opinion is having a go at souths.

          You’re right that Eastwood could have gotten out of the way. The rules don’t state that Eastwood has to get out of the way. The rules do state that you can’t shoulder charge a player which is what Burgess did.

        • Your thoughts Milton on Joey Leilua’s “coat hanger” on RTS? Even in the 70’s that was a send off?

        • “The rules don’t state that Eastwood has to get out of the way. The rules do state that you can’t shoulder charge a player which is what Burgess did”

          So Sam Burgess (a stationary target) has to wait for a 112 kg behemoth off a 10 metre run up to run right over the top of him? Eastwood is allowed to get a free shot on Burgess who just has to cop it sweet? Any other player of a similar size would have done the same thing and you know it. Do you think Junior Paulo or Boyd would have reacted differently?

        • “My thoughts are that I’m out in darling harbour, no nrl. I’ll take your word for it.”

          I milked it just a bit to be honest. LOL But it was ugly. Still, I wanted to see if you could be objective when a Raiders player was on the chopping block.

        • Burgess wasn’t stationary until he stopped to shoulder charge Eastwood.

          And again, Burgess could have gotten out of the way but chose to execute a shoulder charge.

          I would hope that Boyd or Paulo wouldn’t be so daft as to shoulder charge a player without the ball and get suspended.

    • Shoulder charge no big deal. Elbows not acceptable at all. He should have a good sit down for the elbows. Not a good look. Makes him look like an idiot after already having done it once this season.

    • SSTID and other Souths fans – is it time for the twin to depart your club? They both seem to have a lot of trouble staying on the field, whether it be injury or suspension and only on occasions when they are actually on the field do they seem to put in…
      I haven’t seen the actual incidents that George was involved with so cant really comment specifically on that one – more my ? is a general one. A lot of cap space taken up with seemingly little output.

      • I know what you mean, my patience with BOTH Burgii twins and GI’s constant unavailability due to injury is wearing thin! We just don’t want to lose Sam and I fear that if the twins are shown the door Sam could take it personally (as he does on the field when his brothers are targeted).

      • Like SSTD I’m losing patience with the Burgess twins. In the past they have shown that they can be very good first-graders and should be able to be brought up to speed, how I don’t know.

        Souths’ team at the moment needs a small clean-out. Rockow, Cherrington, Tyrell and a few others are out of contract in 2017 and I would move them on. I would take a good look at James Graham if he becomes available. He would add some passion and starch.

        The backline could do without Goodwin, Neilsen and Hunt, and bring back Grey to the centres . AJ showed that he is not quite ready for fullback full-time, but when (if) GI comes back the backline would look better.

        Just my opinion.

        • I agree with most of your assessment chalky. Rockow and Cherrington are hard to judge as they have been out of the game for extended periods and were always going to take time to acclimate to first grade. I am not that impressed with Rochow thus far but from the few SHORT glimpses we have had of Cherrington I think he looks good. He has energy in his tackles and he runs the ball up hard and has shown on several occasions he has a good late offload. He needs more playing time to show what he can do and if George is out for a period Madge should give Cherrington a shot in his place.

          I agree that Tyrell is done both he and Jason Clark have passed their expiry date for mine as have Goodwin and Neilsen. I think Hunt still shows promise just like Gray but let’s be honest there IS better talent out there and Souths can’t always keep missing opportunities for the sake of giving looking juniors a chance. No one else is!

          James Graham would certainly be a worthwhile acquisition and at least it would stop him getting into fights with Sam and the twins but he is also a loose canon that is hard to control. He had the opportunity (or was “approached” by Souths a few years back but turned his back on the offer saying he wanted to stay at the Dogs even though there was no offer on the table at the time). I would question whether his loyalties would be confused if he came to Souths. At least with Farah he had an acrimonious parting with his old club but I fear that Graham would have divided loyalties and be “distracted” in much the same way that Glenn Stewart did. As far as I could see Stewart never bought into the culture of the club and for mine did not give the same effort he gave each week at Manly.

          Although there appears to be some good young talent coming through it is uncertain how long it will be until they will be ready for first grade. Brett Greinke seems to be always unavailable due to injury. After 3 knee reconstruction in 3 years I feel that Connor Tracey is a write off and Cameron Murray (who is listed in the extended squad each week) is only 18 years old and still too young and a touch on the small side to be thrown into the forwards just yet IMO. Tyrell Fuimaono came to Souths with big raps but has not been given an opportunity to date despite being in the extended squad. Although I have only seen him play ONE game for the Bears against the Knights I was unimpressed with his efforts on a day when Tom Burgess and Anthony Cherrington looked like superstars! Both Burns and Jennings show promise but can’t defend and look too skittish to be ready for first grade. In short, Souths are short on options out wide.

          As I have suggested for other clubs Souths should target Dylan Napa, Daniel Saifiti, Coen Hess, Leilani Latu, Cameron Munster, James Tedesco (if Souths were to “lose” Inglis or the Burgess twins before Tedesco signs with the Roosters). I have no idea why Souths didn’t make a play for Josh Addo-Carr who grew up in Redfern, played his junior football for Souths and was a Rabbitohs supporter growing up! That was a lost opportunity if you ask me.

        • Chalky, serious? Cherrington and Rockow haven’t really been given a chance, they keep selecting Clark for instance, a good defender but hardly imposing in attack, we need a couple of new backs for sure but Goodwin is solid, so is Hunt and Grey has not played yet, in the end we need a solid centre and winger and Johnston is solid at fullback , he is more suited to winger sure, but is doing a great job back there.

        • I have gone on record here and on another site calling for Goodwin to be given the flick. Well ATM, based on current form, Goodwin is the ONLY centre/winger I would keep. Even so he is WAY passed it and Souths need youth and speed! Ironic when you think that Josh Mansour, Dylan Walker, James Roberts and Josh Addo-Carr are all Souths juniors!

      • sooner or later the twins will grow up and play smart tough footy, we let an immature Walker go and look at him now, the twins will become great forwards, Souths cannot be impatient with them no matter how frustrating it is at the moment, they are still pretty young you know, maybe we need a new coach, the fans i speak to what Maguire out, i don’t, but maybe their is something in that, anyway our problem is that we don’t have a dominant centre of winger, that is where the problem lies i reckon.

        • We also let an immature Roberts go and he is also going great (3 tries last night) but still immature unfortunately. The prolonged effects of alcohol 🍺 on the brain no doubt!

        • penso, since George debuted at Souths on 2012, he has had one, maybe two good seasons (2012 & 2014) but since then has offered not a lot.
          Will he ever grow up and show what his size and ability can do consistently?
          To me, and i am just a casual observer of SSFC, he seems to be hanging around on reputation and Sams coat tails.

        • A brutal but honest assessment billy. To be fair George was plagued by a hip injury last season that robbed him of strength through his core but THAT is no excuse for dropped balls and elbows! I like all three Burgess boys and would like to see them ALL stay at Souths but you ARE right, the twins are there currently on past reputation, their size and their connection to Sam alone at this point. Their massive size and strength (and particularly Tom’s mobility) make them a huge asset for any team WHEN they are performing. Something needs to be done soon IMO before it becomes time to cut our losses and recruit players to replace them. Jason Clark, David Tyrrell, Bryson Goodwin and Dane Nielsen should also be moved on.

          Souths should look at the young talent that is out there ATM without only thinking they should recruit from within our junior ranks. From what I have seen there are slim picking there and Souths have let local junior talent go like Josh Mansour, Dylan Walker, James Roberts, Josh Addo-Carr, James Segeyaro, Addin Fonua-Blake just off the top of my head but no doubt there are others.

        • Sadly that burgoi’s only mistake was to stand up for his captain who was a public nuisance. Luke’s first and last mistake at the club. Just like McQueen, I was sorry to see BOTH go for the sake of political and financial expediency! I think a 3 game stint for BOTH twins in NSW Cup should give them the message “shape up or ship out!”

          Souths (Round 7 stats):

          S. Burgess (68 mins!! 40 tackles!! 2 missed tackles, 9.0 metres per run, 1 error) – GUN!!
          T. Burgess (41 mins, 26 tackles, 6 missed tackles!! 11.30 metres per run, 0 errors)
          G. Burgess (32 mins, 14 tackles, 1 missed tackle, 10.75 metres per run, 0 errors)

          Z. Musgrove (19 mins!! 14 tackles, 1 missed tackle, 8.1 metres per run, 0 errors) – MORE MINS!!
          K. Turner (49 mins, 25 tackles, 1 missed tackle, 11.1 metres per run, 0 errors) – GREAT EFFORT!
          J. Clark (32 mins, 26 tackles, 2 missed tackles, 9.5 metres per run, 0 errors)

          J. Sutton (71 mins!! 24 tackles, 1 missed tackle, 7.3 metres per run, 1 error) – GASSED!!!

          A. Crichton (77 mins!! 35 tackles!! 2 missed tackles, 10.38 metres per run, 1 error) – GUN!!

          Missed tackles (backs):

          Braidon Burns = 4
          Alex Johnston = 3
          Siosifa Talakai = 3
          Robert Jennings = 3
          Bryson Goodwin = 0
          Cody Walker = 0
          Adam Reynolds = 1

          With the exception of Goodwin, Walker and Reynolds, not good enough!!

        • “Joe Burgess”

          Ah YES! I miss “smokin’ Joe!” He was just a “Tom Thumb” for the first half of his stay with Souths but by the end he was the whole New Years Eve fireworks display! I miss Joe, come back Joe B.!

  2. Sam Burgess only braced himself for a collision after the ball had been passed so in affect it was not a tackle, he should get off, George Burgess should get off also has Souths received a penalty for their illegal play.

    • I agree Penso, I think Burgess did little more than brace himself for a collision (to borrow your words). I think you have to remember why the NRL why brought in the rule against the should charge – it was because of, eg, what happened when Teo charged Matt Groat (if I’m wrong about that, sorry Ben) and Inglis charged Dean Young. Those charges resulted in significant concussions (in Groats’s case he hardly played 1st grade again). But what Burgess did was nothing like that. So I agree, he should get off, it was nothing, no danger to the other player at all.

  3. If you grab me by the head, and pulled that I’d had done more than elbow, this is the rare times I say good on him, watch how his head is cranked

    • You know what they call that mate? Jiu jitsu! George never guessed a simple tackle would end in a “Dog fight”.

  4. Close game, titans should’ve held on there but as the commentators said our kicking game let us down.
    Round 8 next week against the sharks and we should get beaten. That leaves us at 1 – 7. Our season is GONEE

    • Truth be told Elgey stuffed it mate! He was TOO flat. Had he positioned himself 5 metres deeper for the kick he would have gotten the kick away without being under pressure, but he got caught and panicked! Standing flat only invited the charge down from Gillett and. in the end, he should have tried to hold the kick and step Gillett’s charge and kick again. With Blair covering on the inside he may not have gotten it off but it would have been better to have taken the tackle and given his team a chance to set their defensive line. Hopefully, he should learn from this. It is a common mistake with kickers these days not standing deep enough, especially for field goals.

      Still it was a class effort from the Titans and 2 classes above the rubbish that Souths delivered today! Had “Jimmy the teflon Jet” received the ban from the game he deserves then he wouldn’t have scored 3 tries either (including the winning try!) Ironic when you think about it, hearing Yvonne Sampson singing his praises given his recent history.

      • Totally agree mate, way too flat and he panicked! I guess he didn’t think Gillett would be there so quick which is a credit to the broncos line speed. Had Elgey passed it to McQueen there would have been a 3 on 2 overlap which could have resulted in the something. Unfortunately it just wasn’t our day, but if the boys keep showing some heart the wins will hopefully come. And yeah, that bloody James Roberts! I long for the day when we absolute smash him!

        On a brighter note the Titans have actually reached over 10,000 members this year ( I know it’s a tiny amount compared to the Rabbitohs, Broncos etc) but we haven’t had those sorts of numbers in years. Goes to show there is still hope for Rugby League on the Gold Coast people!

        And with regards to Souths, don’t panic just yet! I’m sure once they string a few wins together they will really get a roll on like they did toward the back end of last season.

        • Chalk it up to experience for one half of a halves combo that look they will be one of the best halves combinations for some time to come.

          Souths learned some painful lessons from close losses in 2013 before building on this to win the premiership in the following year.

          The Titans just need to learn how to win the close ones.

    • Head up Titans fans, that was one of the bravest defeats I’ve seen. It may not do them any good this year but in the long run they’ll benefit from performances like tonight.

  5. Titans2012 they might be 1-7 by next week but your team has more heart then any team out there and they’ll come good soon.

    • Dontweall, I mean ihatemanly, agreed.

      It was a real shame they didn’t quite pull off the fairy tail ending last night, but yet another gutsy performance from the Titans.

    • Thanks mate, I’m praying that we can pull off one of those miraculous 15-straight wins but realistically I don’t think we will be there in September.

    • Agreed, there needs to be consistency. Using elbows like that deserves a suspension but so does cranking the neck, grabbing the head in a headlock and twisting to control a player, grabbing the bar in a Jiu jitsu arm bar and using it to twist a player in a tackle like Cam Smith did about 20 times today! Also, cannon ball tackles and falling intentionally against a players legs in a tackle and raising the forearm/elbow to a defenders face/throat in the tackle… ALL deserve suspensions so let’ snot JUST look at George Burgess, look at the game in general and the players that get away with the above week in, week out. Not naming names but Cam Smith, JWH, Josh McGuire, Sam Thaiday, Adam Blair, James Graham…

  6. CAPTAIN my CAPTAIN? Rapanaaaaaa!!! 22 points (44 points as captain) at HT. Lightning doesn’t strike TWICE in the same place! I shouldn’t have gone to the well again! Rookie mistake!

    • I don’t think the Raiders liked Rapana getting all the attention last week. Against the Warriors the Raiders have attacked primarily down the left side of the field (with NO success) and when they shift it right Leilua won’t pass the ball to Rapana but goes alone. It’s like Rapana owes him money!

      • The captaincy choice in SC can be cruel, it’s always risky to pick a winger which is what I’ve done this week. Come on Nofoaluma!

        • Just brought Nofoaluma into my team this week along with Taumalolo. I HAD Taumalolo as captain and switched last minute to Rapana. I should have realised that in SC lightning doesn’t strike TWICE in the same place! I’m playing Boycee and I think I just shot myself in the foot!

        • I couldn’t believe Nofoaluma’s average this year when I looked him up. Almost picked up Joey Leilua (94) but traded Brian Kelly (87) for Nofoaluma instead. Well Taumalolo was well under his average this week and I tripped up Rapana by putting the captaincy on him two weeks running, so apologies in advance if Nofoaluma’s form fizzes out this week. If it does you’ll know why. 😉

  7. Congrats again Dragons, top of the ladder after 7 weeks is no fluke! The Dragons almost went to sleep and let the Cowboys sneak away with a win but in the end they were clearly the better side.

    Talk about a Freaky Friday like switch, Jonanthan Thurston has switched bodies with John Asiata!

    • Was out last night, so watched the game on replay when I got home. Was happy we won and we’ve done well to be where we are on the table. The first half was outstanding but, to me, there were danger signs in the second half. A good side would have put another 30 points on a Thurston-less Cowboys rather than not score a point. I just hope their second half performance was an aberration.

  8. Manly , well that was a disgrace, if ever there was a “team” playing more like individuals that was a great example!
    This is a reflection of the current coach and coaching staff, it’s quite evident when you watch Manly play there’s simply no direction, the plan is to rely heavily on individual skills rather than a collective group ,

    • As were Souths who gifted 1 try, bombed 3 and had 1 disallowed (each of which was because a 32 year old player (Sutton) was gassed and out on his feet while players almost 10 years his junior only played 40 mins or less, while one Musgrove, played just 19 mins!!). A NSW Cup performance from the coach and several of the players IMO.

      • Forgot to mention Sutton was forced to play 71 mins even though he was gassed and they were running in tries around him!

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