A Further Blow For The Fifth-Placed Rabbitohs

Souths has defended George Burgess...

A Further Blow For The Fifth-Placed Rabbitohs

Photo: Getty Images

South Sydney have defended George Burgess against accusations he's a dirty player, labelling his elbow on Mitch Barnett as out of character.

The Rabbitohs were struck a triple blow on Monday after Burgess, Hymel Hunt and Braidon Burns all accepted NRL bans following their fiery win over Newcastle on the weekend.

Burgess will miss two matches after accepting the early guilty plea for a grade two striking charge.

Centre Hunt will be out for the next four matches for a grade-two reckless high tackle which left Brendan Elliot dazed while winger Braidon Burns will miss Thursday's derby with the Sydney Roosters for a shoulder charge.

Burgess could consider himself lucky not to be sitting on the sidelines for longer after he lashed out with his elbow at Barnett in an incident which marred his side's second win of the season.

Burgess has been well below his best this year and began the season in reserve grade before receiving a reprieve from coach Michael Maguire the last two weeks.

Souths skipper and his brother Sam Burgess defended him, saying while he did the wrong thing he wasn't prone to violent outbursts.

"He was obviously disappointed," Sam said.

"I think it's out of character for George. He knows he let the guys down but it didn't cost us the game in the end.

"We're a tight group, we all support George and he's a big part of our team, and my brother, so we've got a lot of care and love for him.

"We just get around him, acknowledge he did the wrong thing, he's big enough and smart enough to understand that."

Burgess was sin-binned for 10 minutes for throwing a punch but was fortunate not to be sent off after the referees and initial replays missed his elbow on Barnett.

His piece of ill discipline means the Rabbitohs will go into big clashes against the Roosters and North Queensland undermanned, but their captain was adamant both the side and George could move on.

"He's disappointed with what he did on the weekend, as a team we lost him for 10 minutes," Sam said.

"As a team I know we'll back him and support him and come back a better player and a better person.

"People forget he's only a young fella and it's relatively early in his career."