Sam Burgess and Benji Marshall under scrutiny from NRL match review panel
By Steve Ricketts
February 15, 2010 England Test prop Sam Burgess will come under scrutiny from the NRL match review panel after a potentially dangerous challenge on Scott Prince in the All Stars match.
A high tackle by NRL All Stars five-eighth Benji Marshall on Indigenous centre Beau Champion is also set for review by the panel headed by former top referee Greg McCallum.
The All Stars match was played with amazing intensity for a pre-season affair, and although good sportsmanship prevailed there were several spicy moments.
Burgess attempted a charge down of a kick by Prince and connected with the legs of the Indigenous All Stars five-eighth after he had got boot to ball.
Prince ran gingerly back into position before regaining his composure and throwing the final pass for veteran winger Wendell Sailor’s try in the third minute after a penalty had been given for the Burgess challenge.
Indigenous coach Neil Henry described Burgess’s actions as “clumsy”.
McCallum said yesterday if the panel found Burgess was not attempting a tackle and still had made contact with Prince, he could be charged with careless or reckless contact.
“The rules are designed to protect the kicker,” McCallum said.
Burgess impressed with his power and off-loading ability, but one huge front-on tackle on diminutive skipper Preston Campbell almost incited a riot with indigenous forward, Sam Thaiday running 20m to show his displeasure before cool heads prevailed.
“I ran at Sam too and he put me on my back, so I think Preston and me might have learned a lesson. Don’t run at him,” Thaiday said.
In one of the game’s more unusual moments, Campbell stopped in his tracks after intercepting a pass near his own line and racing 40m.
“Brad Fittler (NRL All Stars trainer) was on the field and told Preston he had been called back and Preston believed him,” said Indigenous trainer Gorden Tallis.
NRL All Stars skipper Darren Lockyer (bicep) and utility star Kurt Gidley (knee) will have scans to determine the extent of their injuries.
Lockyer was in good spirits yesterday, confident his injury was nothing serious.
But fellow Test star Gidley returned to Newcastle fearful his season was over after the left knee “collapsed” as he was about to be tackled by Indigenous forward and Knights teammate Cory Paterson.
“There was like this pop or clunking noise as it (the knee) just collapsed,” Gidley said.
“It was a bit frightening and straight away you think the worst.”
Sam Burgess, Benji Marshall cleared by NRL match review committee
From staff writers
February 15, 2010
Sam Burgess and Benji Marshall have escaped punishment after the NRL match review panel decided no charges were to be laid from Saturday night’s All Stars game on the Gold Coast.
New Souths recruit Burgess was expected to come under scrutiny for a potentially dangerous challenge on Scott Prince while a high tackle by NRL All Stars five-eighth Benji Marshall on Indigenous centre Beau Champion could have landed the Wests Tigers star in trouble.