Legends say bring back the biff

Written By Unknown on Senin, 12 Agustus 2013 | 23.41

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Sam Burgess allegedly performs a "squirrel grip" on Will Chambers. Source: Scott Barbour / Getty Images

THIS is what you get for banning the biff.

That was verdict from some of the toughest men to ever play rugby league after South Sydney enforcer Sam Burgess was hit with a grade one contrary conduct charge for his "squirrel grip" that left Melbourne's Will Chambers in agony.

While the grade one charge carries a base penalty of one week, Burgess has loading from four previous offences which means he will miss two matches even if he enters an early guilty plea.

Souths are yet to decide if they will head to the judiciary tomorrow night to fight the charge to try and make Burgess free to play in Friday night's blockbuster against Manly in Gosford.

Neither the club management or Burgess would make any comment about the incident on Monday night and it was the same story at Melbourne where they said they hadn't even asked Chambers about the incident and they maintain they had no contact with the NRL.

But the "squirrel grip" controversy has sure caused plenty of debate among league fans and plenty of former greats were quick to defend Burgess's apparent action as a momentary brain-snap.

Rugby League Hooker of the Century Noel "Ned" Kelly summed up the general feeling among former tough guys perfectly when he roared with laughter: "The old Pommy get square.

"It's just frustration. It's the first time I've seen him spit the dummy."

But Kelly said he could understand how it could happen in the modern game with the banning of the biff.

"Mate, you've got to remember the old punch in the nose has been driven out of the game," Kelly reasoned.

"When you get yourself that angry you've just got to do something.

"They've driven it all underground, you can't get away with anything now.

"I mean, the sooner they bring back the punch in the nose the better. You'll get rid of all this other stuff."

Souths legendary hard man George Piggins was of a similar opinion.

Although he said he hadn't seen the incident, Piggins said it was understandable.

"What I mean if you are playing in a football side you have to put the whole thing in perspective," he explained.

"Souths were the favourites and they are getting beat and the frustration comes out.

"You know what I mean, unless he is a repeat offender.

"You put your hand on the inside of his legs and if it slides up and his nuts are at the end of it, well, what do you do?

"God strike me dead. There is no common sense with the bastards.

"The point is they are out there in battle and when you are pushed into a situation where you are getting a belting and you think 'shit, I've got to do something'. What are you supposed to do?

"Like fair dinkum. Did they read the paper the other day with that piece in The Telegraph about how much the crowds are down?

"They will want to take a bit of a look at it and start worrying about the game being good to watch.

"Isn't frustration a good defence. There has to be a bit of give and take in the game and that's not just because he is a Souths players.

"(Burgess) is an enforcer and Watmough is the same. He is an enforcer and he does enforce and he is good at it.

"Do you pull him up every time he goes a little bit over the top? You can't have it both ways."

John Sattler wouldn't buy into it, saying "Sam's a good bloke" and Mario Fenech said he totally understood how frustration can lead to moments like this.

"I know myself there were times in my career where I pulled a bit of mongrel out, too," Fenech said.

"If you don't have mongrel you are not a good rugby league player, trust me.

"As a forward you have to have an element of mongrel in you.

"We all make errors and obviously Sam has made an error. But I'll tell you, I'm a fan of Sam's and he is a very good man. I'd put my reputation on that."

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