Banned Burgess, Buzz Baulks at South Sydney ‘tragedy’
South Sydney prop George Burgess might have played his last game in the Cardinal and Myrtle after he was suspended for 9 weeks for eye-gouging.
Burgess was reported during Thursday night’s match against the Tigers after footage showed him deliberately poking Robbie Farah in the eye.
Despite the weight of evidence and a history of committing the same offence, Burgess denied his intent, sensationally declaring “I swear on my kids’ lives I didn’t know I had my hand in his eyes.”
The panel took 25 minutes to hand down the 9-week penalty, the longest suspension issued by the judiciary since Junior Paulo copped 9 weeks for a dangerous throw in 2015.
The 9 week suspension means Burgess could be eligible to play in the finals if the Rabbitohs progress far enough, but it could also spell the end of the English prop’s time in Australia as rumours of circling Super League clubs suggest he is heading home.
Speaking after the hearing, and without a whiff of irony, Rabbitohs General Manager Shane Richardson called the whole situation “a tragedy for George and his family”.
“I don’t think this should ever define what George Burgess is about. It’s an unfortunate incident that he’s pleaded guilty to but it will not define his career,” Richardson says.
Speaking on Breakfast, Daily Telegraph Chief Rugby League write Phil ‘Buzz’ Rothfield slammed Richardson’s comments.
“I thought Richardson’s response was probably as big a scandal as the actual gouging,” Rothfield said.
“To have a man leading a professional sporting organisation, who came out afterwards and basically described his player as a victim was just outrageous, it really was, I’ve never heard anything like it,”
Perhaps Burgess is well versed in tragedies. After all, he recently revealed his love of theatre, making his stage debut in the leading role of Prince Edward in the play ‘Not So Enchanted’, and in the world of theatre, a tragedy exposes a series of unfortunate events leading to the downfall of the main character.
To paraphrase The Bard, “Rugby League’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances;”
Exit stage left, George.
Click PLAY to hear more from Phil ‘Buzz’ Rothfield: