Sam Burgess pleads guilty as NRL judiciary offenders pile up

Sam Burgess will miss South Sydney's first final for his hair pull on Billy Smith after pleading guilty to a contrary conduct charge.

Burgess on Saturday entered the early guilty plea, meaning he will miss the Rabbitohs' qualifying final next week before returning for their following match.

The South Sydney captain could have escaped with a fine for the offence, had it not been for his poor record at the judiciary.

Burgess' charge was his fifth in the past two seasons, and his third in 2019 alone.

The English enforcer has already been docked part of his salary this year for a contrary conduct charge and careless high tackle.

Players who have more than two charges are not eligible to accept financial penalties for their third offence onwards.

Sam Burgess will miss the Rabbitohs' first finals match after pleading guilty to a contrary conduct charge. Pic: Fox Sports

The Rabbitohs will at least have George Burgess available for them next week after he copped a nine-match ban for an eye gouge in July.

Sam Burgess will miss South Sydney's first final for his hair pull on Billy Smith after pleading guilty to a contrary conduct charge.

Burgess on Saturday entered the early guilty plea, meaning he will miss the Rabbitohs' qualifying final next week before returning for their following match.

The South Sydney captain could have escaped with a fine for the offence, had it not been for his poor record at the judiciary.

Burgess' charge was his fifth in the past two seasons, and his third in 2019 alone.

The English enforcer has already been docked part of his salary this year for a contrary conduct charge and careless high tackle.

Players who have more than two charges are not eligible to accept financial penalties for their third offence onwards.

The Rabbitohs will at least have George Burgess available for them next week after he copped a nine-match ban for an eye gouge in July.

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was the other man charged from Thursday night's clash and is also set to cop a one-match ban for a careless high tackle on Liam Knight.

The Roosters confirmed on Friday he would fight the charge, with no risk of missing a second week even if he loses at the judiciary.

Manly also have a judiciary problem to worry about with Martin Taupau facing a one-game ban for a high tackle charge during his side's loss to Parramatta on Friday night.

Taupau was hit with a higher-level grade-three charge for his careless high tackle on Parramatta's Ray Stone, but will escape with a one-game ban if he pleads guilty.

Eels forward Kane Evans also faces a similar fate for a hit on Brad Parker in his team's win on Friday night, and is now also in line to miss Parramatta's elimination final.

Evans can at least fight the charge and still only miss one week if he is unsuccessful, while Taupau's ban will double to two games if he fights it and loses.

Taupau was sin-binned for the hit that left Stone needing to leave the field on a medicab, but he can perhaps consider himself lucky given numerous ex-players called for him to be sent off.

Regardless, even if his absence is for just one match it adds another concern to the Sea Eagles' finals campaign which has been dismantled in recent weeks.

Martin Taupau faces a ban over a high shot against the Eels. Pic: Getty

Taniela Paseka (knee) and Curtis Sironen (calf) became the fifth and sixth players to be injured in the past three weeks alone on Friday night, joining the likes of Tom Trbojevic on the sideline.

Sironen is at least still some chance of returning when Manly play either Brisbane, Wests Tigers or Cronulla next week, but Paseka is expected to be gone for the season.

The Sea Eagles lost their last two games to drop out of the top four, and will now play do-or-die football throughout the finals series beginning next week at Lottoland.

"(Marty's) experience and his carries (are important)," coach Des Hasler said after the 32-16 loss to the Eels at Bankwest Stadium.

"He's one of the prominent front-rowers in the game and we haven't got that position where we're going to get a (second) chance (in the finals).

"Paseka looks like he's gone, he's done a knee.

"And Curtis Sironen is a calf, so we'll manage that."

Manly could at least get Jack Gosiewski back from a leg injury next week, but will still be without Trbojevic (pectoral), Joel Thompson (broken arm) and Morgan Boyle (shoulder).