Banned Burgess to pocket $100k under NRL hypocrisy
If the NRL is serious about stamping out serious acts of foul play, they need to go further than put all the pressure on referees to send players from the field. It's time to impose serious fines that really make players sit up and listen, writes Paul Crawley.
It's time they also accepted accountability for the get tough talk - and start hitting players where it hurts most.
For his nine-match suspension after his vicious eye-gouge on Robbie Farah, it is understood George Burgess will not lose a cent of his South Sydney salary.
With Burgess earning a conservative estimate of $600,000 a season, that means he will now be paid in the vicinity of $100,000 while serving this suspension.
It is absolutely ludicrous.
There is no way any club is going to impose a fine of that magnitude and run the risk of upsetting the entire playing group.
But if the NRL was to make it mandatory, it would guarantee the onus was put back on the players to clean up their act.
Burgess claimed his eye-gouge on Farah was not deliberate.
I just wonder if he knew he would cop a huge fine for it, would that have made him more aware of his actions?
The same goes for enforcers handing out cheap shots on unsuspecting playmakers.
The RLPA would surely try and stand in the NRL's way from making it a reality.
But as we saw earlier this year, the NRL didn't let that stop them from introducing the "no fault" stand-down policy despite the RLPA's protests.
And just on the Bunker's failure to act during the whole sorry saga, it was laughable that the Bunker found time to overturn a decision in the run of play when a goal-line dropout against the Tigers ended up in a 20m restart after Farah went down injured on the tryline.
Surely Farah should have been moved behind the dead-ball line and play allowed to continue.
ADVICE TIGERS SUPER SUB SHOULD NOT IGNORE
Benji Marshall has seen and done it all in rugby league, which only makes his take on Michael Chee Kam all the more impressive.
And if the Wests Tigers' new game-breaker ever gets the confidence in himself that Marshall has in him, then look out.
Because Marshall has no doubt the 27-year-old can really make a name for himself in the NRL, as long as Chee Kam finally starts to believe what serious talent he has.
Chee Kam produced another inspired matchwinning performance for the second time this season when he scored a brilliant solo try in the dying minutes of last Thursday night's 14-9 victory over South Sydney.
The Tigers' new super sub was also the difference in the round- five win over Brisbane.
Benji was talking about what a wonderful "young" player Chee Kam was during the week and he couldn't believe it when I pointed out Chee Kam's age.
But while Chee Kam's moments of brilliance this season have surprised many, Marshall reckons Chee Kam is one of the most naturally gifted athletes at the club.
Which is why Benji actually fronted Chee Kam on the day of the game last Thursday and told him that his teammates needed him to play against the Rabbitohs when Chee Kam was close to withdrawing due to sickness.
Benji basically told Chee Kam that if he played he had a gut feeling that he would produce another matchwinning moment.
Ever since his early days coming through the grades at Melbourne, Canberra and Manly, Chee Kam has been regarded as an exceptional talent.
But Benji seriously believes what we have seen so far is only scratching the surface of how far he can go in the game. The Tigers veteran also gave coach Michael Maguire a big rap for giving Chee Kam his extra confidence this year.