Sam gets ban for going nuts in tackle
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.
“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