Souths ask why Burgess can't defer NRL ban

·3-min read

South Sydney players have hit out at perceived inconsistencies around the NRL's judicial process, cheekily asking if the Tom Burgess ban can be deferred until next season.

Burgess has taken the guilty plea for his high shot on James Tedesco that left the Sydney Roosters star concussed, ending his elimination final early.

The Rabbitohs prop will now miss the next two games, meaning he will only play again this season if Souths qualify for the grand final.

But what isn't lost on those at Redfern is that Burgess will have to serve his finals ban immediately, while Penrith winger Taylan May was able to push back a suspension for an off-field assault to next year.

In that instance the NRL claimed the timing of last year's assault as opposed to last fortnight's guilty verdict in court justified the deferred ban, while also arguing it was a decision made for the game's fans.

South Sydney star Latrell Mitchell took to Instagram on Monday night to suggest his teammate's ban should also be deferred, asking where consistency could be found.

Pressed further on the post on Tuesday, Mitchell pointed out he had not mentioned May explicitly but claimed there was an argument to be made that more finals bans should be pushed back.

"Like Peter (V'landys) said, it's letting the fans down," Mitchell said.

"Tommy is a big part of our DNA. He will definitely be missed.

"There is an argument to be made, and it is up to people higher up than me and the club."

Centre Campbell Graham also backed Mitchell's call, pleading for consistency between NRL bans.

"I just would like to see consistency, whether things like that come with delays, so be it," Graham said.

"But as long as it's available to everyone.

"Every situation is different ... But you don't want to see opposition players or players on your own team get graded differently or cop punishments differently."

Star hooker Damien Cook also pointed out that Burgess would have avoided a ban altogether if the NRL employed the same rules for finals as in State of Origin.

Under new laws brought in this year, players were able to take fines and avoid bans in Origin matches for all grade-one and grade-two offences, which would have included the Burgess tackle.

Cook sits on the Rugby League Players' Association's advisory group and is largely opposed to fines, but said players would prefer to cough up cash than miss finals.

"If Tom was under the Origin system and there was an option to play this weekend, he'd be happy to pay the fine," Cook told AAP.

"That could be something that we look to.

"I think a final game sits on the same level as Origin, playing sudden-death footy and playing for a spot in a semi-final."

Meanwhile Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has taken a three-game ban for a head slam on Burgess, which he can serve during the World Cup for New Zealand.