SOUTH Sydney captain Sam Burgess has pleaded not guilty to a shoulder charge on Canterbury’s Greg Eastwood.
Burgess was hit with a grade-one shoulder charge by the match review committee, stemming from Friday’s NRL loss to the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium.
He will miss two matches if he loses his case at the judiciary on Tuesday night. Burgess has already received support from rugby league greats Peter Sterling and Andrew Johns after he came under scrutiny for his early hit on Bulldogs forward Eastwood.
Nine Network commentators Sterling and Johns backed the shoulder charge ban but believed Burgess was acting on instinct and merely bracing himself for the eighth-minute tackle on Eastwood.
Burgess will fight the charge in a bid to run out against Brisbane at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
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The Broncos sounded like they were preparing for a Rabbitohs side without Burgess on Monday.
“That’s the way the game goes – you can’t shoulder charge,” Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough said of Burgess’ charge.
“He’s a massive loss for them.”
Meanwhile, Warriors backrower Bodene Thompson is free to play Melbourne on Anzac Day after taking the early guilty plea for an elbow to the head of Canberra’s Aidan Sezer.
Thompson was charged by the NRL match review committee with dangerous contact for the second-half tackle in their 20-8 loss on Saturday at GIO Stadium.
The Warriors forward escaped a match ban for falling over the top of Sezer in a tackle, before his elbow and forearm landed on the head of the Raiders playmaker.
Originally published as Burgess fights shoulder charge ban
SOURCE: newsnow sport