SOUTH Sydney captain Sam Burgess made it clear he was no fan of Rugby League’s punching ban after copping a yellow card in the big win over Penrith.
The match at ANZ Stadium on Sunday was only 15 minutes old when the former England skipper was dispatched to the sin bin, along with Panther Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.
“It’s the game we play at the moment. I wouldn’t have pushed if someone hadn’t have run in from 15 metres," Burgess, 28, said.
“Look, I guess it’s the game that we play these days. You’ve just got to wear it. I’m certainly disappointed.”
Asked if he actually threw a punch, Burgess said: “In super slo-mo it didn’t look like it, did it? But there’s nothing you can do. When you’re playing a physical game and you’ve got a couple of people charging in at you….”
Coach Michael Maguire added he did not believe Burgess’ offence in the 44-12 win was worthy of a sin binning.
Winger Alex Johnston finished with five tries as the Bunnies continued their late-season resurgence. “I played with him when he got five against Parramatta a couple of years ago,” said Burgess. “We didn’t chase six. I didn’t realise he got five until someone told me.
GEORGE BURGESS: 142 metres in just 40 minutes for the Bunnies in his 100th NRL game
ELLIOTT WHITEHEAD: Awarded a controversial try in Canberra’s 31-18 home defeat to North Queensland
“We came up with a special play down the short side to try and get him over in the end.”
Elsewhere, back rower Joe Greenwood is hopeful his strong year with Gold Coast will result in a tap on the shoulder from England coach Wayne Bennett.
“I’m raring to go for the World Cup,” the former St Helens star told the Courier-Mail.
“Hopefully I get a shout-in for that. I’m going to keep my head down and keep doing what I’ve been doing and hopefully get a call-up.
“I need to keep concentrating on my performances. The main thing is being consistent. If you get consistency it brings a lot out in your game.”
SAM BURGESS: 1 try, 1 assist, 37 tackles and 114 metres at ANZ Stadium
GARETH WIDDOP: Three goals in the 20-10 defeat at CBUS Super Stadium
Canterbury skipper James Graham is out for a month so he can undergo treatment on a nagging neck injury.
And St George Illawarra captain Gareth Widdop has warned his combination with new halves partner Kurt Mann will take time to bed down. He admits the pair was not up to scratch in a 20-10 defeat to the Titans.
“Any time there’s a new partnership, it takes a while,” said Widdop. “But we’ve all got jobs to do individually. Mary makes the call and we go out there and do it.
“Tonight we weren’t good enough. We do need to be better but with time, practice, that’s what happens.”
CHRIS HEIGHINGTON: 33 minutes off the bench for Cronulla in a 44-12 win over Sydney Roosters
JOE GREENWOOD: 33 tackles and 58 metres in 80 minutes for Gold Coast in their win over St George Illawarra