Grubby Burgess back to his old eye-gouging tricks
He missed the start of the 2019 NRL season for eye-gouging an opponent and now South Sydney enforcer George Burgess is facing another lengthy stint on the sideline after going after Robbie Farah. WATCH THE FOOTAGE
In the early stages of the match Farah was pulled down just short of the tryline and Burgess pressed down on his face around the eye area.
He was put on report by referee Adam Gee.
Burgess was previously found guilty of gouging Dallin Watene-Zelezniak in a Test match last season.
He was suspended for four matches and missed the first three NRL games of the season as a result.
North Queensland's Josh McGuire and Canberra's Hudson Young have faced the judiciary on gouging charges this year.
McGuire escaped suspension, although he did have to pay a $3350 fine while Young was rubbed out for five games.
Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett did his best to hose down the incident but admitted Burgess put himself in a bad position.
"Obviously there was a hand on the face there," Bennett conceded.
"I can't definitely say it was an eye gouge or what it was."
"There was just no need to put himself in that position.
"I'm not condemning him for it in the sense I don't know whether his fingers actually made contact with the eye or not.
"But the point is it was just totally unwarranted."
South Sydney lost the match 14-9 and Burgess suffered a hip injury later in the game.
League legends Andrew Johns and Johnathan Thurston called for a lengthy suspension to stamp out the practice.
"Back in the wild west days you eyer gouge someone you'd get 18 months for it," said Johns.
"If they're going to be consistent he'll get four weeks."
Thurston called the move "a low act" and said harsher measures had to be taken.
"Imagine if he scratches his eye, he'd lose half his eyesight," said Thurston.
"If they're going to deter anyone from doing it they need to throw the book at him."
Burgess has yet to comment on the gouge, but after his similar effort on Watene-Zelezniak he claimed such play was not part of his game.
"It is not in my makeup as a rugby league player and never has been," Burgess tweeted.
"I sincerely apologise to anyone who thinks bad of me after seeing the footage.
"I accept the punishment but I will never accept that I gouged a fellow players eye intentionall. I have too much respect for the players I play with and against."
I accept my punishment but I will never accept that I gauged a fellow players eye intentionally. I have too much respect for the players I play against and with.— George Burgess (@burgessgeorge) November 6, 2018
That should have been a send off and at least a 6-8 week ban. Disgraceful pic.twitter.com/GHtxGBRhLE— John Davidson (@johnnyddavidson) June 27, 2019