Burgess referred straight to NRL judiciary over eye gouge

SOUTH Sydney star George Burgess has been referred straight to the NRL judiciary after an alleged eye gouge in the side’s 14-9 loss to the West Tigers’ on Thursday night.

Burgess was placed on report for the incident on Robbie Farah which happened in the seventh minute of the game at Bankwest Stadium.

The Englishman clearly put his fingers in Farah’s face during a tackle. The Tigers veteran emerged from the tackle clearly incensed and complained to on-field officials.


“When he’s on the ground, there’s fingers all in the face and all around the eyes. It’s on report,” referee Adam Gee told Rabbitohs five-eighth Cody Walker.

The NRL confirmed on Friday Burgess had been charged with dangerous contact but found the incident was too serious for a grading.

After the match, Souths coach Wayne Bennett said he had only seen the Burgess incident briefly but was disappointed.

“There was just no need to put himself in that position to start,” Bennett said.

“I’m not condemning him for it in that I don’t know whether his fingers actually made contact with the eye or not. The point is it was totally unwarranted anyway.”

It’s not the first time Burgess has faced charges like this. He copped a four-match suspension for an eye gouge on New Zealand’s Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.

Burgess could be facing at least double that penalty considering his priors.