Sam Burgess will miss the next two games after being suspended.
Sam Burgess will miss the next two games after being suspended.

Sam Burgess suspension an ‘absolute joke’

ANGRY South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold refused to take questions after star Sam Burgess was rubbed out for two weeks at the NRL judiciary for dangerous contact.

The Rabbitohs were furious after Burgess failed in his attempt to argue he was merely bracing for contact when his forearm collected Josh Morris' neck in the Rabbitohs' Good Friday win over Canterbury.

It means he will miss Friday's clash with ladder leaders St George Illawarra, before also sitting out next week's local derby with the Sydney Roosters.

Traditionally, players or coaches take questions after judiciary outcomes, but Seibold was in no mood after he made a brief statement on Tuesday evening at Rugby League Central.

"I'm obviously very disappointed with the result tonight," Seibold said.

"I don't want to make any further comment other than we've got a game to prepare for on Friday night against the Dragons and I don't want this to be a distraction."

Burgess would have avoided a ban had it not been for carry-over points.

He'll miss the next two games after trying to fight it, including Friday night's battle with English archrival James Graham.

In a 50-minute hearing, Burgess and his defence counsel James McLeod argued the forward had less than one second to brace for Morris' tackle after the Canterbury centre dashed across from marker and in front of the defensive line.

He also claimed he could not fend Morris away with his right arm, challenging the panel and NRL to find any vision of him carrying the ball in his left arm.

"He decided to make contact with the ball-playing arm. He's probably trying to dislodge the ball," Burgess said of Morris' tackle attempt.

Sam Burgess fronts up to the NRL judiciary.
Sam Burgess fronts up to the NRL judiciary.

 

"I braced for contact; I felt him coming quite quick.

"That's all I can do in this situation. I can't do anything different with my carry."

Burgess had also posted a now-deleted photo on social media over the weekend of Jason Taumalolo making similar contact with Isaah Yeo.

This sent the Penrith defender to a concussion check but for which the North Queensland star was not suspended.

South Sydney fans will also be frustrated with Russell Packer also not being charged for contact which knocked Parramatta defender Kaysa Pritchard out.

Those comparisons were not used on Tuesday night, before the judiciary of Dallas Johnson, Tony Puletua and Mal Cochrane took 15 minutes to side with the NRL's view that Burgess' contact was both careless and dangerous.

"He's not only braced himself but he changed the direction of the forearm and brought it into contact with Morris," NRL counsel Peter McGrath said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Melbourne centre Will Chambers accepted a two-match ban for dangerous contact on Cronulla's Paul Gallen.

A furious Paul Kent, NRL 360 host, took aim at the members of the judiciary panel after the ruling.

"I reckon it's a joke that he's been suspended," Kent said.

"How is he supposed to protect himself?

"He's running into a wall of men, three players have tackled him, he's holding a ball.

"All he's got is his forearms to protect himself.

"To charge him for putting them up as a bumper bar to protect himself is an absolute joke.

"Whoever the morons are on the judiciary have no idea.

"But seriously, there's no one that knows the game who thinks that's a charge."

Wests Tigers star Josh Reynolds who was appearing on the show agreed with Kent's take on the suspension.

"I'm with you, I wasn't sure if J-Moz had a neck to be honest," Reynolds joked.

"But I'm with you, it happens all the time."

- with AAP



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