Rabbitohs forward George Burgess was sent to the sin-bin for throwing punches but may face a harsher penalty for a thrown elbow.

Burgess knocked a ball on in the first tackle after a kick-off and then lashed out at Mitchell Barnett after the players collided.

Burgess’ elbow connected with the head of Barnett and then he proceeded to throw a few more punches for good measure. The incident was put on report and Burgess was sent to the sin-bin as a result but many fans were left wondering why he wasn’t sent off.

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The incident was placed on report and Burgess was sent to the sin-bin as a result but many fans were left wondering why he wasn’t sent off.

Burgess will now face a nervous wait while the match review committee reviews the event. A stint on the sidelines seems likely.


  1. yep he deserves to be suspended , he played really dumb and his actions invited Newcastle right back into the game, not sure what his problem is here, no aggression , drops the ball, doesn’t run hard anymore a long stint in reggies may sort him out, pity, he’s a great forward when he’s on

    • Really dumb and very disappointing from George. No one wants to talk about the cheap shot uppercut (PUNCH) by Mitch Barnett in the tackle that started this but that is no excuse or defence for Burgess who stepped a LONG way over the line. George was having a bad day and was clearly being heckled by the Knights and snapped. Every time I have looked at the footage (wearing my biased South Sydney cardinal and myrtle glasses) I try to believe that George swung and missed. The “punches” he threw following that only seemed to confirm the fact that he CAN’T fight and probably (because of his size) has been challenged very few times in his life.

      In truth though, the more I see the footage the more it appears to be intentional and IF that is the case then it IS “a gutless act” and deserving of a send off! The problem with going down this road is that it practically decides the result of the match from that point on. It also sets a precedent and puts pressure on referees and the NRL to be consistent. Tripping is also a send off offence yet Cameron Munster was not even sin binned for this against the Dogs on Friday night. There have been numerous examples of this over the years (most notably with Josh Reynolds) which have NEVER resulted in send offs.

      It’s all well and good to cry “SEND HIM OFF” but there MUST be consistency. If Burgess had been sent off for this offence then referees would be under the microscope for the rest of the season to apply the same interpretation of the send off rule to other teams irrespective of the circumstances (like Dale Finucane intentionally handling the ball in the ruck right in front of the referee in the 2014 GF but was NOT sin binned because it was a Grand Final!)

      (See interpretation of the rules below)

      • 2017 NRL Laws and Interpreations


        A player is guilty of misconduct if he:

        1. ‘Trips, kicks or strikes another player’
        2. ‘When affecting or attempting to affect a tackle makes contact with the head or neck of an opponent intentionally, recklessly or carelessly’
        3. ‘Uses any dangerous throw when affecting a tackle’
        4. Applies any unnecessary pressure or twists including grapples, crushers or performs a chicken wing on a player in possession
        5. Unnecessarily contacts a player not in possession or a kicker (see Tackle and Play the ball)
        6. When a defender forcefully spears at the legs of a player in possession exposing him to unnecessary risk of injury
        7. Shoulder Charge (see Tackle and Play the ball)
        8. ‘Disputes a decision of the Referee or Touch Judge’.

        In these circumstances:

        ‘A penalty kick shall be awarded against any player who is guilty of misconduct (Section 15) provided that this is not to the disadvantage of the non-offending team.’ Section 13 (1) (a)

        Additionally a Referee or Review Officials may:

        ‘In the event of misconduct by a player at his discretion, caution, temporarily suspend for ten minutes (Sin Bin), or dismiss the player’ Section 16 (6)

        If an incident is significant enough a Referee will also place the player or incident on report.

        Sin Bin

        The five main reasons for a player to be temporarily suspended for ten minutes are:

        1. Repeated infringements
        2. Professional Foul
        3. Cooling off period for a player
        4. Dissent
        5. Punching.

  2. Now if Burgess was playing for the Dogs, Chooks or the Tigers that would be send off and 10 weeks on the sidelines.
    Believe that!

  3. 100% Kelby , Hodgkinson gets sent for stating the obvious yet Burger boy stays ,,, all That’s missing after the first 3weeks of dirty cheap shots like BJ is a cage ,,,, I’m hanging to see Gal throw one ,,, pity the recipient,there head will explode like a watermelon dropped from 6 foot

    • “Hodgkinson gets sent for stating the obvious”

      Anyone who has played the game I am sure could not help but smile in sympathy and in solidarity with Hodgkinson over his comment born out of frustration, “you just decided the game!”. We have ALL been there! But he backed the ref into the corner and gave him no choice. Perhaps this is yet another argument for the “captains/coaches challenge”. That controversial incidents can be examined using video evidence to determine if there is merit in a complaint. At the end of the day there is still the potential for a difference of interpretation.

      Taking the fact that Souths benefited from the disputed interpretation (Souths winning the scrum against the feed for “allegedly” while having their legs across the tunnel before the the scrum was fed), wasn’t it a breath of fresh air and a throw back to bygone days to see a scrum one against the feed WITHOUT the scrum being driven off the mark!

  4. All that can be said without doubt is that if it was Cam Smith or Thurston that said that to the ref he probably would have agreed that he was wrong and apologised.

  5. After not being sent off, if Burgess gets anything less then a 6 week suspension there needs to be serious questions asked about the integrity of the game. 10 years ago when the refs had some balls that was a send off, and I think it os fair to say 10 years ago Hymel Hunt wiuld have joined him for that stiff arm on Elliot. Refs need to start growing a set and stop relying on the report system. If Burgess and Hunt are suspended, what benefit have the Knights gained? The benefit will be given to the Roosters next week, completely wrong.

  6. The common opinion seems to be that George Burgess is getting off lightly for only being charged with 2 weeks suspension.
    In round 1 Chambers punched Kasiano in the back of the head twice while he was facing the other way and only got fined, no suspension. So based on that George is pretty hard done by.

    What’s funny is that no one batted an eyelid about Kasiano getting king hit, and subsequently Chambers not getting suspended, but I’ve already heard multiple people complain about Burgess only copping 2 weeks. Is it because Kasiano and George are big or something?
    If the roles were reversed Kasiano would have been suspended for at least 10 weeks for hitting Chambers in the back of the head, because he would have flattened him.
    I wonder if Barnett would have been suspended if he put that soft elbow on George. Because let’s be honest, there wasn’t much force in it. More of a missed punch turned into an elbow. Not like the good old flying elbows.

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