Sam gets ban for go­ing nuts in tackle

Midweek Sport - - SPORT -

ENG­LAND for­ward Sam Burgess has been handed a two-match ban af­ter plead­ing guilty to a “squir­rel-grip” tackle.

Burgess will miss South Syd­ney Rab­bitohs’ next two games against Manly and Can­ter­bury af­ter opt­ing not to con­test the charge of con­trary con­duct stem­ming from an in­ci­dent with Melbourne cen­tre Will Cham­bers on Fri­day.

The 24-year-old ap­peared to place his hands be­tween the legs of the Storm cen­tre, leav­ing him writhing on the ground in agony.

The orig­i­nal one-match ban was dou­bled be­cause of load­ing from four pre­vi­ous of­fences in the last two sea­sons, but Souths team-mate Roy Aso­tasi – who is join­ing War­ring­ton in 2014 – has dis­missed ac­cu­sa­tions that Burgess is a “grubby” player.

“A lot of peo­ple out there are say­ing that Sam’s a grub,” Aso­tasi said last night.

“It’s not what Sammy is as a per­son. He goes out and plays hard and some­times things hap­pen.

Trou­ble

“I knew some­thing had hap­pened at the time but I didn’t re­ally pay at­ten­tion to it.

“But then I saw it and thought, ‘He could be in a bit of trou­ble here’.”

Burgess was on the end of a “squir­rel-grip” tackle early in his ca­reer in 2007, when St He­lens stand-off Leon Pryce was given a three-match ban for squeez­ing his tes­ti­cles in a Chal­lenge Cup semi­fi­nal against Brad­ford. Wi­gan coach Shaun Wane will go against his in­stincts by field­ing his strong­est team against Cata­lan in Satur­day’s Su­per League clash in Per­pig­nan.

Wane ad­mits he would have liked to have rested sev­eral play­ers a week be­fore the Chal­lenge Cup fi­nal against Hull, but his key men need game time af­ter miss­ing last Fri­day’s home loss to Hud­der­s­field.

Sam Tomkins, Matty Smith and Ben Flower will all re­turn.

Wane said: “In­juries to Sam, Lock­ers, Ben and Matty Smith dic­tated things. They are fit now and they need a game so they will be play­ing against Cata­lan.”

PLAY THE BALLS: Burgess

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