The Burgess brothers have shocking foul-play records.
The Burgess brothers have shocking foul-play records.

Buzz: Burgess boys tarnishing legacy with foul play

There is no doubt the Burgess brothers have brought a lot of glamour to rugby league, but their shocking foul-play records show they need to be pulled into line writes Phil Rothfield.

Together they have faced no less than 27 charges in the NRL for ­offences including headbutting, genital-grabbing, eye-gouging, crusher tackles, head-highs, punching, tripping, shoulder charges, chicken wings and cannonballs.

I checked out the records/shame files of the South Sydney Rabbitohs stars over the weekend.

Sam has had 14 charges, George 10 and Tom three.

Old Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett will no doubt write this off as just another 'drama queen' over-reaction, like he always does.

Yet what happened at Bankwest Stadium last Thursday night when George Burgess dug his fingers into the eyes of a defenceless Robbie Farah was disgraceful.

Nothing short of a 10-week ban will satisfy outraged NRL fans considering it was his second eye-gouging offence in seven months.

Even South Sydney supporters expressed their disgust on social media over the weekend.

A few weeks earlier his brother Tom headbutted Knights front-rower Daniel Saifiti.

Sam has had four charges in the last 12 months for an elbow to the throat, striking, a cannonball and a careless high tackle.

So when will this stop.

George Burgess faces more time out for an alleged eye gouge. Picture: Phil Hillyard
George Burgess faces more time out for an alleged eye gouge. Picture: Phil Hillyard

 

 

There is no doubt the brothers have brought a lot of glamour to rugby league over the last decade.

They are Sydney Confidential regulars, good-looking, big and buff with stunning partners.

It's like there are two of them … good men off the field but lunatics on it. When they play within the rules fans love watching them in action and they are great for the game.

They can be wonderful personality players who get people through the turnstiles.

Yet for every fan they bring to the game they are turning others off. There is no excuse for the foul play.

Wild characters are part of the game. Not everyone can be a Cooper Cronk or a total cleanskin. It's the nature of a combat sport. But we're talking head-butts, genital-grabbing and eye-gouging, which is as ­disgusting as it gets.

 

Sam Burgess has had 14 charges in the NRL. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Sam Burgess has had 14 charges in the NRL. Picture: Phil Hillyard

 

These are shocking acts that are even unacceptable in a UFC octagon for goodness' sake.

The television footage and back-page headlines on the gouging incident on Thursday night were hugely damaging for the game.

It is frightening that all this is happening under the watch of probably the two most experienced operators in the game - Bennett and their general manager of football Shane Richardson.

They need to show some leadership on discipline here. The brothers need to be pulled into line.