Souths facing tough ask without Burgess - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Souths facing tough ask without Burgess

By Steve Jancetic 02/08/2010 07:18:55 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney coach John Lang concedes the Rabbitohs are paying the price for losing games they should have won after their bid to be a part of this year's NRL finals series got a whole lot tougher on Monday.

The Bunnies lost gun forward Sam Burgess for Saturday night's vital clash with Wests Tigers after the Englishman took the early guilty plea to a grapple tackle charge.

Burgess was charged after being placed on report when he appeared to wrench at the head of Canterbury five-eighth Ben Barba early in the second half of Friday night's loss to Canterbury.

He will join a long list of Souths forwards unavailable for the ANZ Stadium match-up - with the likes of Luke Stuart, David Taylor, Scott Geddes and Ben Ross all injured.

The Rabbitohs desperately need to win the game to stay in touch with the finals contenders, after dropping out of the top eight with Friday night's 32-12 loss at ANZ Stadium.

But rather than bemoan his side's predicament, Lang said it was a good lesson to his side to make the most of better times.

"You have your bad runs at times with injuries and there's games we should have won when we had our players there," Lang said on Monday.

"That's the thing that concerns me more."

The risk of a two match ban for an unsuccessful trip to the judiciary was too great a deterrent for the Rabbitohs to challenge Burgess' grade two dangerous contact charge.

While most clubs take the full 24 hours to submit their pleas by 12pm Tuesday, the Rabbitohs issued their guilty plea late Monday afternoon.

Neither the club nor Burgess commented on the plea, though Lang was hopeful when he spoke to media before the charge was handed down.

"I don't think it was that bad but I'll be honest, I'm not really up to date with the parameters with what they charge and how they decide the grading," Lang said.

In other judiciary news, Bulldogs playmaker Ben Roberts (grade-one, careless-high tackle) and Penrith prop Sam McKendry (grade-one tripping) are both free to play this weekend despite attracting charges.

Brisbane halfback Peter Wallace and St George Illawarra lock Beau Scott were cleared of wrongdoing after being put on report for a high tackle and elbowing respectively following their altercation at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

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