Sam Burgess free to play after being found not guilty

Rabbitohs forward Sam Burgess has been found not guilty of a grade one shoulder charge by the NRL Judiciary tonight at NRL HQ in Moore Park.

Burgess was cited by the Match Review Committee on Saturday morning after our Round seven clash with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

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Burgess entered a not guilty plea on Monday. After 90 minutes of deliberation, the NRL Judiciary found Sam Burgess not guilty of the charge.

Burgess will be available to play in our ANZAC Round clash with the Brisbane Broncos this Friday at ANZ Stadium.

65 COMMENTS

  1. Common sense prevails at last penso old mate! Perhaps the game is not getting as soft as we feared? Or perhaps it was the fact that the two teams with the highest supporter base had the prime time game on CH9 on Friday night. No, must be the first one. Cheers. 😉

    • Yeah, I think it was the first 1 mate, common sense prevails.

      I’d be the first to admit that the NRL would take into consideration the consequences of suspending serious “draw card” players around Rep. games (on both sides for SOO), but a Friday night game between the Bunnies and Bronco’s, I don’t think that had any bearing.

      I think it’s the right decision, but in fairness, I’d be a bit dirty if I was Taumalolo under the circumstances.

      • Absolutely. Not to mention obvious proof there is no damn conspiracy these two have gone on about for days. Who needs consistency when it comes to your own team gifted an inconsistent result?

      • “but a Friday night game between the Bunnies and Bronco’s, I don’t think that had any bearing.”

        “The game had no bearing on the decision. You don’t need to see his identification, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for, he can go about his business, move along.” Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars)

        “Smile and wave boys! Smile and wave!” Skipper (Madagascar)

    • Common sense did prevail SSTID for once, thank goodness someone at the NRL can look past their nose and react to obvious situations where the rule book doesn’t always demand instant suspensions, i’m quite happy about this but, Souths will be hard pressed to beat the Bronco’s this Friday, what’s the go with Broncomatt , is he all there or what?

      • Common sense and a better game to promote for prime time TV on Friday night. The two clubs with the largest memberships, biggest followings and greatest corporate interests spell $$’s for the NRL and CH9 and Sam was a fortunate bit of collateral damage in what was deemed best for the game in the big picture I feel.

        Poor old DoorMatt thinks he’s a flying carpet but his ideas never get off the ground!

  2. I think that’s the right decision, and credit where credit is due, a good call by the judiciary.

    • Despite the howls to the contrary, even Eastwood said it was nothing in his opinion. Had the same thing happened with Eastwood on Burgess I would have had no problem with the same result. There was in “intent” and certainly nothing malicious in the contact. Like ST47 and I have argued by comparison Steve Matai’s “blind side bell ringer” should have been a send off offence by comparision (Tyrrell is still looking for teeth on ANZ Stadium that were shaken loose in THAT one!)

      I think Scopra was right though that Taumololo can feel hard done by IF in fact his infringement was less blatant.

      • Going on the rules, which I don’t agree with, Sam should have sat a game out. It was a shoulder charge per the rules and the hit was on a bloke without the ball. But I’m Ok with him not coping a game. I’m more confused about how his brother elbows Tolman in the head twice and nothing comes of it?

        • “I’m more confused about how his brother elbows Tolman in the head twice and nothing comes of it?”

          greggo, fair point but it’s just like James Graham lashing out/attempting to kick Sam Burgess in the head (he didn’t make contact so no suspension!) As Sterlo says, you can’t suspend someone just for “intent”.

          Even Tolman said there was no contact…

          “Aiden Tolman has unexpectedly leapt to the defence of George Burgess, declaring the South Sydney prop failed to connect on him with an elbow.”

          Asked if Burgess connected, Tolman said: “I don’t know. To be honest, I didn’t feel anything from it.”

          “He’s a big man. If he did connect, I probably would have been lying on the ground.”

          http://wwos.nine.com.au/2017/04/14/20/24/tolman-backs-burgess-over-nrl-elbow-drama

  3. Baaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha
    TO ALL YOU TOMMY KNOCKERS /KEYBOARD EXPERTS , GET THAT UP YA , aaaahum , sorry for yelling all but never thought I’d say this thanks Souths and Sam because of your courage there will be many more challenging this stupid rule

    • There is a clear line between player safety and Oztag and the NRL have been on the wrong side of that line for a long time. The Matai and Taufua tackles (as we have said) are celebrated and are more more damaging than the “love tap” between forwards on the weekend. No forward in the game would have had a problem with it. Now perhaps forwards will think twice and either change their line or at least slow down before running flat out into a defenceless stationary target. I still think the Kane Evans hit on Sam Kasiano was one of the best of the modern era and right up there with Mark “Spud” Carroll vs Paul Harragon.

    • As someone said to your one of your posts on another site – anyone got the English version of this?

      • Can’t come up with your own material “Barry”? Pretty poor when you have to plagiarise the words of others! At least you should make the effort to credit the author (as I have done when I quote others). Badly done. Almost as bad as your botched quoting of Shakespeare… almost. Bahahahahahaha (now THAT’s funny!)

      • “As someone said to your one of your posts on another site – anyone got the English version of this?”

        Oooh! This is too good! Barry said that on the ROAR, but you should know that IF you ARE TheRealBarry! Bahahahahahahahahahaha Now THAT is worthy of the Bahahahahahaha expression!

        • You don’t get subtlety, do you? Anyway, very flattering to see you’ve been obsessing over my comments.

        • YOUR comments? Sorry I thought I was talking to TheRealBarry! You don’t have the intelligence to pull off subtle so don’t kid yourself. As for “obsessing over your comments”, seriously? Isn’t it the other way around? You follow MY posts from ZT to the ROAR and back again and post almost exclusively in response to my posts alone! Whereas I have ignored your “Benzedrine puff adder” attacks on both sites despite your attempts to malign my reputation. So WHO is OBSESSED with whom? Please take your ADHD elsewhere, you bore me!

        • Huh? You totally misread what I wrote. I meant – but probably didn’t reply in exactly the best place – that you’ve been obsessing over my past posts in attacking this poster. Geez! You are on edge.

        • “Malign [your] reputation”??? What reputation? You’ve got tickets on yourself, you really do. Anyone would think Souths won the GF tonight the way you & your halfwit have been carrying on.

        • So danielle, truthfully, WHY the obsession? Why not stay on your side of the fence and let me and Silver47 stay on ours? Why do you always feel the need to criticise others and offer nothing of value or relevance yourself? Silver47 and I have asked you to not post under us and leave us alone and you have said you would honour that request but you still follow us from site to site and post to post. Are you lonely? Why the obsession? You seem to be waiting eagerly for every post of mine and jump on it the moment you see it. You are even up until 12:30am posting and you KNOW I don’t want to talk to you. Find someone else to pester I really am finding this kind of obsession too Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction).

        • “Attraction” ??? – back to the tickets you have on yourself. More like repulsion. I find you an absolute goose. You noticed I posted at 12.30, then you post at 12.45. Who’s obsessing? Not YOU. Never.

  4. Like a “creme caramel egg” melting in the console of a Renault the judiciary got pantzd
    In hindsight who else would have got off had they challenged
    Did Souths use the ole “Queensland origin defence”? We may never know! but let me say this , the judge jury and exocutioner had 10 fingers , 5 for each hands
    QUEEEEEENS LANNNDAAAH

    • There WAS a QLD connection though mate… Wayne Bennett (England national coach), Wayne is an old softy and wanted to put a smile on his captains dial. Cheers Papa Smurf! 😉

    • Mmmm
      Ole John Wayne , Aka 12 toes shoulda known,
      Well good onya Johnno I won’t make fun of ya next time I see ya slerpn on a bottle of sunscreen,
      Banana boat , tell us Waynno it taste like banana ?

        • If you ARE the REAL Barry then who is The Barry?

          And IF you ARE the REAL Barry, which player did I criticise from your team to start our argument on the ROAR and which player did we argue about if they were a Souths junior or not? Answer quick no time for research? Also, where did I say you do most of your research? And PLEASE don’t try to quote Shakespeare. I couldn’t stand to see it butchered again!

          The clock is ticking Barry!

        • Haha! Why didn’t you ever object to your mate in disguise posting under this name yet are so keen to interrogate me? The pair of you have reached comical status with your in tandem posts.

          Shaking your pom-poms for each other or is one of you calling the shots? Seems to be way more pom-pom shaking for Souths so I’d say your special friend switched teams just for you??? “Bahahahaha!!!”

        • Answer my questions you fraud. Also, how about sharing your insights on the game instead of spouting your usual venomous diatribe. I was right from the start, you ARE a pseudo-intellectual and lightweight!

          And “Bahahahahahaha” ONLY when it’s funny and you never are! Although you ARE admittedly a joke!

        • Not surprising, Medusozoa don’t have backbones or a sense of humour… or a brain or any discernible sign of intelligence for that matter. Swim back to your sea anemone Nemo, you’re in deep waters and over your head here!

    • Taumalolo faced a week if he pleaded guilty, and 2 if he was found guilty, and he pleaded not guilty, lost, and got 2. Burgess was facing 2 weeks either way.

      As per previous posts, I think this is the right decision, and I hope it’s used as a precedent going forward, because it was the right decision, but it highlights an injustice on Taumalolo.

      • “it highlights an injustice on Taumalolo”

        That’s my point. But it took one player (and club to take a stand). It all comes down to common sense and looking at these charges on their merits. Players (as I have said) are usually the best judge of what is and is not acceptable. No one in the Bulldogs team seemed to have a problem with it (especially Eastwood).

        • I’m missing your point.

          Taumalolo could have taken 1 week for a guilty plea, but he (and the Cowboys) pleaded not guilty, and got 2 weeks instead. They did stand up to the judiciary, with more to lose, as Burgess would have got 2 weeks either way, and lost.

          I don’t Burgess / the Bunnies as hero’s, and bottomline they had nothing to lose either way, but I think it was the right outcome nonetheless.

        • In any case, my point is that if players and clubs keep “rolling over” and accepting the system without questioning the interpretation or misunderstanding or application of the rules nothing will change. Toovey was right, “There needs to be an investigation” into the rules and interpretations for the modern game. They should also look at how the game will be unsustainable in it’s current situation with spiralling over inflated player salaries, TPA’s that make a mockery of a salary cap system, archaic rules and nonsensical interpretations by officials which expose no knowledge of the spirit, structure or flow of the game or of the original purpose of the rules that were put in place.

          The NRL has become obsessed with speeding the game up which has caused the coaches and players to devise “gamesmanship tactics” of slowing it down (when they are in defence or protecting a lead near the end of a game). Concussions and HIA’s are not treated seriously in most cases and only a small handful of clubs seem to be following the rules and keeping players off the field (Souths are one of the very few that show any consistency in this area and are penalised accordingly because of this).

          There are a wide range of topics that need to be looked at including scrums (which I think can be improved for the betterment of the game instead of abandoned which is the popular view) and interchanges (which I feel should be reduced) as well as the number of reserves on the bench (which should also be reduced and instead there should be two emergency reserve players to cover players who are injured or concussed but only after independent NRL medical assessment to verify the veracity of the injury warranting replacement). The game does not need to be sped up but there needs to be a balance and there should be action taken against clubs and players who cynically try to con referees.

          Well, that should at least start some discussion!

        • That is probably the best solution for interchange in relation to concussion/injury that I have seen. I like the idea of emergency players on the bench to cover these things, but I don’t like the idea of increasing the interchange/reserves.

          I’ll add to your discussion that the NRL needs to seriously look at the pathways they have in place for young players. Most of them spend up to 3 years playing in the under 20’s competition, in big stadiums with decent crowds, only to find that, at 20 years of age, they are not ready for NRL yet. So what do we do with them, we send them back to glorified park footy (especially in NSW), played on grounds that are sub standard in front of a handful of family and friends. I really miss the days when I was a kid and went top the footy with my old man and we watched all 3 games. The NRL needs to either make NSW/Qld cup a true competition that develops next in line players to be NRL players, or increase the age limit of the under 20’s to under 23’s. At the moment there is too much of a gap in development.

        • “I don’t like the idea of increasing the interchange/reserves”

          eels47, I am arguing to DECREASE the reserves on the bench AND the interchanges allowed. Leave room in the game for smaller, faster, quicker players to exploit tired bigger players. Make the scrums a contest again that favours BIG packs who can compete for the ball but the down side is managing fatigue (especially for BIG men) for late in both halves. The game does not need to speed up any further and turned into a hybrid form of Oztag or touch football, it just needs to be better managed with more forethought and understanding of what the fans want to see (an least IMO).

        • Lost in translation mate, I was agreeing with you. I was referring to other suggestions that have been given about adding a 5th or 6th man to the interchange bench. I like your idea more of keeping the number of players as is, but making 1 or 2 emergency only players.

  5. Hey DoorMatt, speaking of flogs… Haven’t seen you for some time. Did you get locked in Centrelink or somefing?

  6. What you guys are missing is that the judiciary are not there to make the rules or decide if the rules are just or not. They are there to punish players who break the rules. Sam broke the rules, it was a shoulder charge plain and simple. You, I or anyone else does not have to agree with the rule, but it is what it is. You can’t call for consistency and then praise the judiciary for letting someone off who has broken the rules.

    Sam should have been suspended as JT13 was. Like I said that is the rule whether we like it or not.

    • Man I don’t know what the rule is anymore. While it wasn’t really malicious or anything, under the definition that the NRL brought in this year I thought that certainly fit the criteria.

    • eels47, the NRL are building so many walls around the game it is becoming a prison. Soon no one will want to come and visit! Face it, some rules are just DUMB! Or at least their “interpretation” is.

      – the stripping rule,
      – the tackling the player in the air (2 inches off the ground) rule,
      – the voluntary tackle rule and the accompanying drag the player 8 metres back into the in goal rule,
      – the shoulder charge rule (separation or not),
      – the obstruction rule (depending on which team you are and what the score of the game is),
      – the rule about players walking off or to the side of the mark and players lying in the play the ball area,
      – the rule about stopping the clock when players pack a scrum that ISN’T a scrum but a bunch of blokes leaning at the bar just before closing time.
      – the how can players milk a penalty “rule” by intentionally passing the into a playing lying in the play the ball
      – the KICK BLOCKING rule (or how to pretend you are running for the ball and then stop and forget what you were doing manoeuvre),
      – the “staying down when you were tackled high so the bunker can give your team a penalty” rule,
      – the pull the players arms apart so they can’t hold the ball or punch it out in the tackle and look surprised” rule,
      – there is even the special “Sam Thaiday” rule, pack into the opponents scrum at lock so they can’t form a scrum to stop the clock rule!

      Which rule was it again that you said judiciary punish players who break these ridiculous rules? They would be doing the game a favour to punish the people that make and interpret these rules and then allow the cynical coaches and players to exploit their inability to exercise common sense don’t you think?

      • My argument is not about the rules, it is about the job of the judiciary. Like I said, you cannot call for consistency from the NRL and in the next breath applaud the judiciary for letting a player off who has committed a textbook shoulder charge. It is the NRL’s job to make the rules, it is then the judiciary’s job to enforce those that require punishment. The shoulder charge is banned, like it or not, and is punishable by suspension. In this case the judiciary failed to do their job.

        For the record I too don’t like with many of the interpretations that you have mentioned. The no penalty for voluntary tackles, the blocking of kick chasers and the ridiculous “shot clock” for scrums and drop outs are probably 3 of my biggest dislikes.

        • “My argument is not about the rules, it is about the job of the judiciary”

          eels47, surely the RULES are central to the job of the judiciary as they need to interpret and apply these rules and penalties to any breaches? At the very least there needs to be clearer guidelines within the rules themselves to clarify the rules and assist referees and the judiciary with regard to interpretation. Look at my LONG list (above) outlining how this is being confused by officials and abused by coaches and players. There are too many inconsistencies in interpretations and rulings at present and this needs to be addressed for the good of the game and all stakeholders. There are rules that were introduced for a specific purpose which have since been lost in a quagmire of precedent from incorrect or overly literal interpretations that have changed or even destroyed the purposed for which these rules were introduced. Surely you aren’t arguing that the judiciary have no responsibility to interpret the rules for the purpose of determining breaches and issuing penalties?

        • There is no interpretation in this case though. Burgess committed a shoulder charge. That offence comes with a suspension. You talk about inconsistencies in interpretations of rules, something which frustrates all fans, but there was no other way to interpret this. The rule states that shoulder charges are banned, it does not state that they are only banned if the player is hurt or injured as a result.

          I get what you are saying about clearer guidelines etc, but in my opinion it is pretty clear in this case and the judiciary have it wrong. Of course they have a responsibility to interpret the rules when determining guilt and punishment, but in this case they didn’t need to, it should have been a quick guilty decision.

        • “There is no interpretation in this case though. Burgess committed a shoulder charge.”

          Lucky for Sam then that you aren’t sitting on the judiciary. They disagree with you (“found not guilty of a grade one shoulder charge “) The interpretation of WHAT constitutes a shoulder charge is what appears to be in dispute in this case. Also, there needs to be common sense with these interpretations. Thankfully in this case common sense prevailed.

        • Fair enough, you have your opinion and I have mine. Good chat mate, things are slowly getting back to how they used to be on here with healthy discussions about the game.

  7. I can’t understand the ”taking the early plea” rule. If a player is charged and pleads guilty he gets a discount. Why? If he is guilty, and agrees that he is guilty, then he is guilty!

    I think in most cases the early plea saves the NRL from having a judiciary meeting.

    • It’s the old carrot and the stick mate. A reward (carrot) for avoiding long queues in the system and saving the judiciary’s time and the stick (risking a lengthier suspension by rolling the dice). It’s the NRL’s marketing equivalent of “buy now before this date and get 10% off!”

    • I think you’re spot on chalky.
      For those of us who can recall the days prior to the loadings and discounts coming in, every Wednesday there was a judiciary meeting and the player, coach and any one else would front up to Phillip St HQ for a hearing, regardless of whether they were going to plead guilty or not. Eventually it all got out of hand with not only the player, but a whole team of legal people arguing the case for hours on end.
      Not only did it waste a whole lot of $$$’s but every ones times, especailly on the guilty cases.

  8. Chalky very good point mate, furthermore those who charged Sam in the first place should be liable for any expenses incurred for there defence

    • I thought, and argued Taumalolo should be dirty re the Burgess decision, because I remembered the Taumalolo incident very differently. Watching the video again, I stand corrected. Taumalolo ran at the player, and not just stood his ground. His was an actual shoulder charge.

      Well done to the judiciary, because they were very different cases, and in fairness, I think they got them both right after all.

    • I can understand if Taumalolo and Cowboys fans would feel robbed and I do sympathise. I have to agree with eelsalmighty though, having seen the footage JT13 changed his line and effected a tackle with the shoulder rather than standing his ground and bracing for the impact like Burgess. Taking a step or two forward notwithstanding Eastwood is a BOG man (112Kg) and did not slow down or change his line despite having time to do so and in effect “played chicken” with Sam and came off second best. As I have said, Eastwood had no problem with the contact, neither did Sam Kasiano have a problem with Kane Evans hit. The game is overreacting to these clashes and the PC police are always out in force.

      I remember well Peter Sterling getting SMASHED by Jeff Robinson (Bulldogs) after he anticipated a set play by the Eels. Sterlo has copped plenty of knocks and is still one of the most articulate former players in the media. Yes there should be protective measures but “separation” of the shoulder and torso goes some way to lessening the impact on players. Two players running for the ball can collide in an even uglier fashion resulting in a greater impact and more severe concussion yet the game does not try to control or penalise this eventuality. It IS a contact sport not a Jiu Jitsu competition after all. At lease the average shoulder charge does not bring with it an obvious intent to injure a player unlike the cannon ball tackle or a defender collapsing across the legs of an unsuspecting tackled player which can which has greater potential to cause serious injury and keep players out of the game for a lengthy period. Why no outcry about that?

      For the record I don’t have a problem with the tackle. Think about it ZT, had JT13 launched himself into a tackle using his shoulder in a legal Steve Maitai like tackle it would have been applauded by all and called a great hit. It would also have cut Glenn in half and had the potential to cause more damage to the tackled player than the “shoulder charge” in question.

      Is the shoulder charge rule there to protect players from greater injury? If so ban the diving shoulder first tackle and make wrestling tackles mandatory. I will follow soccer or some other code when that happens. After all soccer is already a lot like Rugby League, they slap instead of punch, act for penalties and penalise rough contact.

      • Whilst I agree that the shoulder charge rule needs to be looked at, the sad death of James Ackerman from a shoulder charge in 2015 has ensured that this type of tackle will not returning to our game. After a death, allowing the tackle to return, ONCE it has already been banned, leaves the NRL open to potential legal issues.

        • Understood mate but the same thing could have happened with the tackle on Alex McKinnon or by Matai on Tyrrell (or a number of crunching tackles that Sam Burgess pulls off on a regular basis). Where do you draw the line? Remember those tackles were all legal and still are.

  9. His arm was coming around and involved when effecting the tackle it can not be seen clearly in the video as the commentator said I don’t think that is shoulder charge when viewed during the game. I will see if I can find a lot better version of the tackle where both arms can be seen to involved in the tackle around Glen. Can some one post a shot of the tackle Burgess made as I think that was a blatant shoulder charge imo.

    • Like I said, I have no problem with Taumololo’s tackle but clearly I am too “old school” and in the minority in that opinion.

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