James Graham and Greg Eastwood of the Bulldogs tackle Sam Burgess of the Rabbitohs.
James Graham and Greg Eastwood of the Bulldogs tackle Sam Burgess of the Rabbitohs. DEAN LEWINS

Mixed fortunes for Burgess boys with match review committee

THE Burgess family will have mixed Easter celebrations with Sam facing a two-game shoulder charge ban while George was cleared by the NRL's match review committee.

Many NRL observers will be stunned by the NRL's announcement given Sam's incident was relatively minor compared to some shoulder charges while George's forearm to the head of Aiden Tolman in South Sydney's loss to Canterbury attracted plenty of criticism and accusations of grubby behaviour.

Sam has been hit with a grade-one charge and is facing a two-game ban regardless of his plea. He was penalised for his late shot on Canterbury player Greg Eastwood in the eighth minute.

Sam will need to beat the charge if he is to play against Brisbane on Friday night.

But the Rabbitohs were given a much-needed boost following the surprise decision to clear George.

George was found not to have a case to answer for twice elbowing Tolman during the 24-9 loss, despite seemingly making contact with the Bulldogs prop's head.

It is understood George escaped a ban after the match review committee decided he was fighting to get out of a headlock because of the way Tolman held him. The match review committee also deemed he did not make a great deal of contact with Tolman.

It is a lucky escape for George who has had a less-than-impressive start to the year. He started the season in NSW Cup and has struggled with his handling and discipline this year.

George had only just returned following a two-game ban for striking Newcastle's Mitch Barnett in round three. The Rabbitohs travel to Brisbane before playing Manly in round nine.

There were no other charges from Friday's games.