SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 14: Samuel Burgess of the Rabbitohs talks with his players during the round seven NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium on April 14, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Rabbitohs captain Sam Burgess has been charged by the Match Review Committee following Friday night’s clash with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

Burgess has been charged with a grade one shoulder charge from an 8th-minute incident involving Bulldogs player Greg Eastwood. The base penalty for this charge is 200 points.

Burgess has two prior non-similiar offences in the last two years which results in a 40% loading on the charge.

If Burgess takes the early guilty plea he will accrue 210 points and miss the following two matches.

If he fights the charge and loses he will accrue 280 points and miss the following two matches. If he fights the charge and wins he will be free to play against the Broncos next week.

SEE ALSO:  NRL Power Rankings - Round 15


  1. He has to fight this , it is wrong that he got charged, he was only bracing himself after Eastwood had passed the ball, what’s this game coming to fair dinkum

  2. It’s hard to understand how Sam is charged and will miss games when grubs like BJ throw punches and simply pay a fine, does the NRL think fans are so uneducated that they would accept an act of thuggery and not a play that’s idolised sells advertising and has promoted many games ? (Use of shoulder) I see the dyloution of the “tackle” as it was knowen and the acceptance of the basic fundamentals of martial arts in every game, ankle locks, wrist locks, neck and head control, the basics principles of armbars are there for all to see, those that want to argue this are simply kidding,whilst these techniques are not executed completely players have learnt to use these to assist with tackling and it’s NOT IN THE SPIRIT OF THE GAME

  3. Boys I couldn’t agree more but that is what happens when the “PC police” take over and the game is ruled in black and white instead of using common sense to interpret the rules. Players are now releasing the ball in the tackle or flipping up and down line fish just landed on a boat to win a penalty. Teams are schooled and trained in wresting and acting and the game is looking more and more like the WWE instead of the game we all followed as kids.

    Coaches continue to find new ways to cynically exploit the rules and manipulate referees to rule in their favour. The game is becoming a farce and unregulated TPA’s that provide a loop hole for the salary cap system is just another symptom of the problem with the modern game.

    Ask yourselves two questions, first, would Cam Smith, Jonathan Thurston, Billy Slater or Cooper Cronk be up on a similar charge? Secondly would any of the above or any other prominent QLD rep player (Inglis, Scott or Gillett) be on a charge or facing a ban if the SOO was next week?

  4. Man I wasn’t going to comment on this but I have to raise a few points and fully expect to cop it but here goes.

    Penso – from memory (it’s been a big weekend) Eastwood never passed the ball, he was a decoy runner. Burgess chose to come to him, had time to get out of the way but instead put himself to get suspended by knocking him over without using his arms or hands. It wasn’t vicious but by definition it is a shoulder charge. You don’t have to agree with all the rules of a game but you do have to play by them.

    ST47 – you’ll have to refresh my memory. What advertising campaign included a player who never had the ball getting shoulder charged? Also you railed against punches copping a fine. Do you want them to get suspended or cop no penalty? And finally, the refs struggle to referee the game as it is. How are they going to also policy non obvious wrestling tactics that go on in most tackles unless they have a third ref on the field from the UFC?

    SSTID – I’m puzzled by how charging Sam Burgess has anything to do with political correctness? If the NRL was run by the PC police as you put it, don’t you think that George would have been charged for throwing elbows or copped a bigger suspension for his first bout of elbow madness? The rest of your points were fair, especially about players getting charged around origin. Just make sure that you don’t view games from yesteryear with rose tinted glasses. While there is certainly more wrestling and other junk in the game now, the instances of gouging, biting, bad spear tackles, king hits behind the play etc that used to be a part of the game has also mainly been eradicated. I’ll finish with a quote I like from Benjamin Disraeli – ‘change is inevitable, change is constant’. Rugby League, like all sports, change and evolve.

    Feel free to criticise.

    • “Man I wasn’t going to comment on this but…”

      But you couldn’t help yourself right? As always. Big night out at Darling Harbour last night? At the casino were you Milton? Let me guess you got a little lucky and the Raiders have won again and are in the top 4 and you want to see if your luck will hold and so you want to double down once again and come at myself, ST47 and penso head on? Going for the trifecta mate? You might want to remember to “always gamble responsibly” and be prepared to hit the “opt out button” if it gets a bit hard to hold your nerve.

      Milton I’ve noticed you like to disagree just for the sake of it. If you feel STRONGLY about it fair enough but I get the feeling you just like the argument and the attention. Perhaps it is hard for you to empathise as the Raiders are now on a 3 game winning streak (which would have been 5 straight if not for that controversial 1 point loss to the Broncos). I don’t remember the Raiders being too hard done by this year. They have had the penalty count in their favour for the last 6 weeks! In the last 6 weeks the penalty count as been:

      Raiders = 28
      Others = 46

      Tell me THAT doesn’t hurt the Raiders chances?

      You once claimed that Souths were “handed a premiership” back in 2014 after a favourable penalty count all year suggested that the NRL had preordained the Rabbitohs would win the title. Well it seems that they may have pulled “a Raider out of the hat” this year if that is the case on the above evidence. No wonder you aren’t complaining about the system when your team is one of the key beneficiaries!

      At the end of the day you agreed with my point that if it had been a key QLD origin player during origin week it would not have even have been reported! So what is the point of having rules or penalties for breaching them if there is NO consistency? Even Eastwood said it was a nothing incident. If there was a poll of current players Sam would not have a case to answer and you know it. Like the stripping rule the shoulder charge rule is ruled in black and white terms devoid of any common sense and THAT is the problem. Souths will now be down their 2 marquee players in Inglis and Sam Burgess which should please you no end while the Raiders are at full strength and under the protection of the NRL and the whistle blowers. Well done!

      You also never addressed my points here and in other posts…

      Was Eastwood allowed to continue running his line into the defender when he ALSO had time to slow down, stop or change his line? If so then is the defender supposed to be at a disadvantage as a stationary target for a charging runner that has momentum on their side? Or is the defender suppose to move and therefore the attacking team gets to dictate where the defensive line is allowed to position themselves? Also, what is your position on the on going illegal and foul play that does not get penalised that are also worthy of suspension. What about the ball carrier raising the forearm to the head or throat of the defender, or collapsing across the legs of a player to stop their progress AND with the clear intention of injuring them, or using a Jiu Jitsu arm bar or head lock to control a tackled player, what about your advocacy for these blights on the game?

      “Feel free to criticise”

      “I wasn’t going to comment” but thanks for your permission. 😉

      One another subject, that’s twice now this weekend that a try has been disallowed for obstruction because a decoy runner was too lazy to run the defensive line. John Sutton perhaps could be excused at the back end of a 71 min game at the age of 32 but Wade Graham at 26 and just over 20 mins into a game is unforgivable! No doubt Bird would have been tackled by Fisher-Harris in any case but it was a poor effort for an incumbent SOO player.

      • I agree with most of your points, in that some “rules” have / are being enforced well beyond common sense, and well beyond their intended purpose. I’d agree S. Burgess shouldn’t be charged in this case, but in fairness Taumalolo got 2 weeks for a very similar charge. I think they could improve the rule by adding the player (the defender) has to be moving toward (attacking) the other player for it to be considered a shoulder charge.

        • Sounds fair to me a step or two forward from a standing start shouldn’t count though if an attacking player is chatging at the line from a 10 metres plus run up.

          The only thing that doesn’t save Will Chambers though is that he changed his line to stop a player (without the ball) going through a gap.

          What do you think about the ex-players/ex-coaches committee/bunker idea?

      • Should read:

        “On another subject, that’s twice now this weekend that a try has been disallowed for obstruction because a decoy runner was too lazy to run through the defensive line.”

      • Wow, quite a reply SSTID. Didn’t go to the cas, just a night out. Love the irony of the guy who posts more than anyone on ZT and has been banned for his posts on ZT calling out someone else for posting for attention when all I did was post my opinion.

        Also found it funny how you argued that Souths didn’t receive preferential treatment but now argue that the refs are in the pocket of the raiders.

        I’ll try and keep the rest of my comments brief. Eastwood, as a decoy runner, is allowed to run in a straight line. If Burgess was trying to get out of the way and Eastwood changed directions and obstructs him then it’s a penalty the other way. Burgess chose to come to Eastwood and chose to shoulder him instead of getting out of the way. It’s pretty simple. I did say that I agreed with your other points which included foul play. Care to answer my query about how charging Burgess is related to political correctness?

        Please no replies in the form of an essay, it takes a lot of time and effort to read your posts.

        • I’ll keep it short Milton…

          “the guy who posts more than anyone on ZT and has been banned for his posts on ZT ”

          Cheap shots don’t deserve a reply. I try to use humour, you get personal when cornered and have no defence.

        • How was I cornered? Also you accused me of posting for attention. Where is the humour in that, that is a personal attack using your opinion. I replied using a fact. Pretty sad when someone can dish it out but can’t take it.

        • “How was I cornered?”

          I raised a number of issues re illegal play but you have not responded to any (btw at this point I am no longer interested in your opinion on pretty much anything). Instead you only chose to harp on an infringement by a Souths player while ignoring the long list of others I supplied.

          “Milton I’ve noticed you like to disagree just for the sake of it. If you feel STRONGLY about it fair enough but I get the feeling you just like the argument and the attention.”

          Sorry Milton but if you think THAT is a personal attack you are as soft as a marshmallow! I was trying to give you the argument you clearly wanted and have some fun at the same time. There was nothing defamatory, disparaging or disrespectful about my remarks. Certainly nothing to justify your below the belt comments. But that’s fine. You defend the rights of others to have their opinion but I am not allowed one in turn. I don’t want to risk saying something that you might interpret as another “personal attack”, I get the feeling that a sudden stiff breeze may harm you irreparably and I don’t want to be the one responsible for a worsening of your delicate condition.

          Post your retort and do your victory lap and then stay off my posts and I will stay off yours. Clearly I mistook you for somebody else.

        • its what happens when you spend the weekend eating “beef stew” chin up milt nothing an electric tooth brush won’t fix

        • I actually responded to your points regarding foul play three times. The first time I said your points are fair on the first article. Then again I said they were fair in my first comment on this article. Then again in my next comment I pointed out that I previously agreed with your comments including foul play. And I harped on about the Souths incident because the article is about that incident and that was what started the whole conversation. So again, how does that make me cornered?

          And how is my comment even below the belt? If you are the one who thinks using a fact is below the belt and pulls the ‘I don’t want to talk to you anymore’ routine, that makes you a prima donna. I was happy to move on but if your feelings are too hurt then so be it, both our lives will go on and the earth will keep on turning.

  5. Milton you never seen a big “shoulder” used to sell the game of Rugby League ?
    I’m not expecting refs to have any understanding of what constitutes a tackle, they have no idea, Rugby League has rules but the refs ” interpretation” of those rules is what’s wrong with this game example(a) Raiders v Warr pocket ref calls strip , main ref says play on, why not go to bunker ? So as for policing the martial arts (thanks to Melb) to late horse has bolted, I will say this, classic round the boot lace tackles are not rewarded for what they are, this tackle today costs more because it tackles longer for tackler to get up and the tackled to play ball

    • “the refs ” interpretation” of those rules is what’s wrong with this game”

      Absolutely! Listen to the the ex-players and coaches in the commentary box for both CH9 and FOX and you will see that the Refs have NO clue! They have NO idea about the game or how to interpret the rules or use common sense. In addition, BECAUSE they have NO IDEA, there is NO CONSISTENCY! As for the evolving game Benjamin Disraeli was a dinosaur and never got picked for the Rugby team and couldn’t tackle in any case! LOL (FYI, it’s a joke mate. I studied ancient and modern history!)

      Not all changes are for the best or are positive. There are too many interchanges and possibly one too many players on the bench IMO. Perhaps there should be playing squads of 16 with 2 reserves for serious injury or HIA (verified not shonky!)

        • The refs know the rules better than anyone, but that’s part of the problem. The rule book is getting bigger (adding more detail and/or more clauses and/or additional rules). Some of these rules are to improve player safety, and I’m all for them, up to the point where they are genuinely about player safety.

          Most of the additions are about providing greater clarity to existing rules, often to stop clubs/players exploiting loopholes, and now enter technology. The rule book is very comprehensive, the games are very heavily scrutinised through the media coverage, and the stakes are high (the dollars involved).

          I don’t think having ex players / ex coaches adjudicating is the answer. The differences between their interpretations of the rules would be wide enough to drive a truck through, and sadly, common sense is not that common.

          Maybe the rules need to be simplified by taking out some of the unnecessary complexities.

        • “The refs know the rules better than anyone”

          And can quote them and interpret them back to front! Unfortunately they are trapped inside their self-made prison of “literal interpretation”. THAT is the problem, no common sense and (having not played the game) no basic understanding of the game from a players perspective.

          For example the obstruction rule… compare the ruling of obstruction against John Sutton on Josh Reynolds with Wade Graham against James Fisher-Harris. Players KNOW that Josh Reynolds took advantage of a player who was behind him in the defensive line to draw a penalty. Reynolds had a play on the attacker if he chose to move forward instead of reverse into the defender (an unnatural motion in defence). The shortest distance to the attacker was in a forward, diagonal right or 90 degree right direction, instead Reynolds stepped back, waited for the attacker to run into the gap and then sold the obstruction to the ref when he THEN tried to move in a straight line. Fisher-Harris on the other hand was prevented from moving in a straight line, the shortest path to the attacker, by Graham who was ALREADY standing between the two players.

          The referee interpreted the rules in black and white in the first case and did not use any common sense. Players on the other hand understand the difference between the two.

        • I actually agree. There are times the “literal interpretation” of a rule results in an outcome that, in a very small number of cases, isn’t in the “spirit of the rule”, and in some of these cases, provides an advantage / disadvantage to the wrong team. That said it’s a very small percentage of times.

          Now look at from the umpires perspective. There is a rule book covering every aspect of the game, usually in extraordinary detail, and it’s their job to administer it. They have to make calls quickly, to keep the game flowing, and they have to make hundreds every game. The bunker is brought it on the “big decisions”, but most decisions are made on field, and as a commentator / spectator we can use the footage to review / slow motion / even pause that footage (as can the bunker, on big decisions). The poor umpires are damned either way. If they don’t adhere to the letter of the rules, which are there in black and white, people will scream blue murder, and have the evidence to prove their right. If they do, and the player/s were “acting”, the umpires will get slammed for that too. Remember the umpires have to make hundreds of calls, very quickly, on field every game, and no matter what, some people will find some aspect to critisise.

          So, are we better off with calls being made by impartial people who know the rules like the back of their hand, and who have years of experience as an umpire, and who are accountable, or ex players / coaches? The 2 aren’t mutually exclusive, playes and coaches obviously know the rules too, but they don’t have the same experience impartially administering them.

          Take Gus Gould as an example. He’s always right, and if you want a second opinion, ask him again, but back to the real world, he can’t umpire. Obviously some ex players / coaches would be better than others, but few (very few, if any) would be better than a FG umpire.

    • As a fan are you more critical of a punch (like that dog BJ) or a solid shoulder ,( like Fafita , Burger boys, Frank the tank,Ka pow etc etc)
      In your opinion what’s cheap ?

      • A player can expect a shoulder charge, it has been part of the game for over 100 years but being punched without warning is worse as it is clearly OUTSIDE the rules of the game and more by definition “assault”. I guess Joey Leilua is lucky he is playing a team that is “under the protection” of the NRL and referees this year. 😉

    • Listening to Braith Anasta and Cooper Cronk discussing the controversial try to Paul Gallen in the Sharks vs Panthers game (and then thinking about the wisdom and knowledge of the game by ALL the other ex-players working for CH9 and FOX it seems the answer is clear, recruit a rotating roster of ex-players and ex-coaches into the bunker system to rule on these decisions NOT referees who have no clue and are worried about public opinion! These “personalities” should also be part of an NRL commission during the off season to examine and use common sense to amend the interpretation of the rules governing the game. Currently voluntary tackles for example should be penalised but they are not!

      Anyone agree?

      • Man everyone has got into this , it has become a serious conversation, but to simplify everything, common sense has gone out of this game big time, what Burgess did was not a direct should charge to make a tackle, i am not sure what everyone is talking about in other instances, but the game today has become to complicated , i guess the same as life, political correctness has infiltrated all aspects of life, but the game has moved on, some would say for the better, me, I still believe that players should be able to throw a punch, cause our game sometimes demands action especially against players who take advantage of their inadequate use of toughness, i agree with everything SSTID has said , his deep interpretation and research is quite impressive, ST47 also is very down to earth.

        I just hope that the powers to be can find common ground and not hide behind rules are rules, cause in a lot of instances, the rule does not apply evenly to the charge, if you get my drift, lets hope that one day it becomes common sense.

        • Cheers mate. I like to see everyone engaged in discussing these points even if they disagree, as long as they state their reasons and argue intelligently and with some justification for the their position based on facts, evidence or common sense. I believe that the rules of the game should not be just black and white but open to interpretation and subject to common sense.

          For example, the definition of a TWO man tackle for the purposes of stripping the ball IMO is NOT when one player has hold of a players jersey or shorts or is tackling around the legs and then has the ball stripped out by another defender in a “one on one” action without assistance. The rule was introduced to stop players holding or pinning the arms of player while allowing a team mate to strip the ball like in a Rugby Union maul. Common sense should be applied (and was MEANT to be applied) to interpret these rulings. It is clear if two defenders are engaged in making a tackle jointly in such a way as they could work together to assist in dispossessing the attacking player of the ball.

          Also a rule was introduced to protect a player catching a ball while in the air to stop players having a free shot at an unprepared, unprotected player and the potential for their legs to be taken out from under them and running the risk of the player being sent head first into the ground. It was NOT meant to give the player catching the ball an uncontested free catch or stop them from being tackled until their feet met terra firma. Now players are penalised if they initiate contact AFTER the ball has been caught but when the player is only 6 inches or less off the ground!

          The the two above examples are rule which were introduced for a specific purpose which were meant to allow the referees the freedom to interpret them using common sense. Instead the interpretation was literal and has been so ever since!

      • Can you imagine the blow ups if an ex player or coach is in the bunker in round 26 and makes a controversial decision that effects their ex team say making the finals? It should remain impartial figures.

        • Great idea! I vote in Alfie Langer, Kevin Walters & Wally – perfect candidates …can’t imagine any controversy whatsoever.

        • Good to see the Telstra pit is dry and the internet is up and running
          Perils of living in outback NSW

        • And there was controversy last year when Luke Patten was the bunker ref for a dogs game. We all know that fans are going to complain especially hard if a decision by an ex player suits their ex team.

    • I don’t remember a shoulder charge to someone who doesn’t have the ball being used to promote rugby league.

  6. Are we endorsing the shoulder under rib cage? Targeting solar plexus !!! That’s the difference between Tafuas bell ringer and Sams tackle

  7. It’s good to see Wayne Bennett on board with in helping to stem the tide of disrespectful and dangerous play in the NRL. Wayne shows once again he is not afraid to go after the “really big issues”.

    Bennett wants ‘disrespectful’ head tap stamped out in NRL

    “Wayne Bennett said it is time for NRL chiefs to stamp out “disrespectful” head taps from players when opponents make a mistake.”
    “That’s rubbish behaviour. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen. I think the head tap is disrespectful. I really do. I don’t want my players doing that. I’ve told them that.”

    SSTID: So Wayne, what do you think about Josh McGuire being penalised for his Jiu Jitsu move in attacking the legs of a Titans player on the weekend?
    BENNETT: “That’s rubbish behaviour. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen. I don’t want my players doing that. I’ve told them that.”
    SSTID: That’s good to hear Wayne but what about Sam ‘Third Man’ Thaiday torquing (twisting) the broken thumb of Jesse Bromwich AFTER the tackle in the Broncos recent game against the Storm?
    BENNETT: “That’s rubbish behaviour. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen. I don’t want my players doing that. I’ve told them that.”
    SSTID: Really? OK, what about all this talk about Jimmy ‘the telflon’ Jet?
    BENNETT: Telflon Jet?
    SSTID: Well nothing seems to stick to him Wayne, how many accusations of assault against women has James had in the last 6 months alone?
    BENNETT: “That’s rubbish behaviour. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen. I don’t want my players doing that. I’ve told them that.”
    SSTID: Sorry Wayne, but you really aren’t saying anything new. It’s seems that you are reading of a scriopt mate.
    BENNETT: “That’s rubbish behaviour…
    SSTID: OK, I get the picture. Thanks Wayne. Cheers!

    • SSTID: Meant to say, “you are reading off a script”.
      BENNETT: “That’s rubbish…
      SSTID: OK, I get it!

      • Touché.

        Personally, I don’t mind the little head pat. It’s actually pretty funny at times.

        My pet hate is Josh Reynolds little hyperactive preschooler hand clap. If he did that to me, I reckon the consequences would be $1,500 well spent.

  8. Like I said last year
    “A stupid household appliance”
    You want to start a debate and dribble that garbage ! Go play with a GPO and some 240 knob

  9. What’s a Milton toaster?
    Can I use it to make toasties?
    will it ever replace my breville?the melted backed on cheese just can’t be cleaned

    • “What’s a Milton toaster?”

      An appliance that likes to “toast” others but can’t take the heat when applied back to itself! Bahahahahahaha

        • I think he means raisin bread – you know, that type of bread you make raisin toast out of.
          I am loving this thread – come on boys, get into it.

        • “I think he means raisin bread”

          38er, no I think he meant “Ray sinnn bread”, he does not believe in following conventions. His thoughts are encrypted like the Enigma code. You would need an Enigma machine to break the code and decipher his intended meaning. I think that is the purpose of the Enigma code is it not?

        • Just like his signature triple commas 38er they are part of a “manic tapestry” that only makes sense from his side as we are viewing “from the back”. To borrow from a famous analogy; “like the reverse side of a great tapestry, from the back, all we can see are the knots, the imperfections, some bumps, some smears of colour. It all looks random and chaotic.”

          It’s like Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” which at the time was probably the 19th century equivalent of his triple commas it only made sense at the time to Van Gogh.

        • “I am loving this thread – come on boys, get into it.”

          38er, why do I get the feeling that this is the cyber equivalent of the school yard’s “Fight! Fight! Fight!” Hahahahaha

  10. Milton , the urban dictionary states you like eating Ferrero Roche , baaaa ha ha ha
    Toaster “an especially useless piece of computer equipment ”

  11. I am sick and tired of poor referee calls, it quite obvious that certain clubs are targeted for special attention by the NRL and instructions are given to the referees to follow in this regard. I am sure that discussions are had each year by the NRL hierarchy and media stakeholders on which clubs should be in the top eight ( and whose turn is it to win the comp). Clubs like South Sydney will never get a fair go because they are popular and beat News Limited to get back into the comp. Clubs aligned with News Limited or run by the NRL seem to evade any talks of salary cap breaches (unless a whistleblower supplies the evidence).
    Bring in the Captains’ call , then critical mistakes by the refs may be picked up and teams may get a fair go. How many times is there a knock on, forward pass or other illegality missed and then one or two plays later a team scores, absolutely heartbreaking for teams like Newcastle, Tigers etc who try all day and then loose on some crap like this. Just my rant for the day but no wonder people are starting to abandon the game.

Comments are closed.