live Infotainment Factory: Gus: how NRL handed Roosters huge advantage

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Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Gus: how NRL handed Roosters huge advantage


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The NRL has handed the Roosters a massive advantage for their qualifying final against South Sydney by banning Sam Burgess but not Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Phil Gould says.

The disciplinary system has sparked outrage ahead of the finals series thanks to a pair incidents from last weekend's Rabbitohs-Roosters game.

Waerea-Hargreaves escaped suspension at the judiciary after being found not guilty of a careless high tackle. Rabbitohs prop Liam Knight suffered a nasty head gash and was taken off on a medicab, though the damage was deemed a "rugby league accident" not directly caused by the Roosters hardman.

Burgess, by contrast, pulled the hair of Roosters winger Billy Smith. The Rabbitohs superstar had already been fined for two judiciary incidents this season, meaning that he had to cop a one-game suspension after being cited by the match review committee.

"Sam Burgess shouldn't be sitting out. Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous," Gould, a former Roosters coach and coaching director, said on his Six Tackles with Gus podcast, speaking with James Bracey.

"My God, we get too pedantic at times, we really do. Villains and heroes; there's a lot to be said for villains and heroes in our game.

Listen to the latest episode of SIX TACKLES WITH GUS at the bottom of the page!

"You talk about players that have a great influence on results - Waerea-Hargreaves is player that has enormous influence on the results at the Roosters.

"When he plays in the team, they win over 64 per cent of the time. When he doesn't play, they only win 40 per cent of the time. You would think that's incredible, for a team that's had such a record and been so good.

"When you think about influential players, you think about your James Maloneys and your Sonny Bill Williams and your Cooper Cronks and your Luke Kearys and your James Tedescos. But the winning percentage with Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in the team drops significantly when he's not there.

"So it was an important thing for them at judiciary the other night. Like they say, when the big dog barks, they all bark, and he's the big dog in that team."

Gould said that Burgess was similarly irreplaceable for the Rabbitohs.

"You can't replace Sam Burgess, but everyone else has just got to lift and do their job better," Gould said.

"He (Waerea-Hargreaves) would have liked to have got hold of Sam, because Sam pulled that kid's hair last week. We're missing one of the big drawcards of the game ... because he (Burgess) tugged on his locks and said, 'Get back out to the wing, young'un'. Oh, we can't have that in rugby league!"

Gould said that Waerea-Hargreaves should never have been charged, cheekily questioning whether there was an ulterior motive.

"He had to get off, I don't know why he was charged," Gould said.

"With these things with the match review committee, the question is, 'Well, what did you want him to do? What different tackle did you expect him to make to the one that he did?'

"He couldn't have done any more than he did, it was just an accident. The fact that he came in contact eventually with the player's head, that wasn't what caused the injury. The injury was caused because he clashed heads with another player, hit his head on the ground and sadly had to be removed.

"That's going to happen in our game. We can't punish everyone because someone gets hurt and gets a bit dizzy.

"I don't think he should ever have been charged, yet we've got to go through two days of publicity. And maybe that's why they do it; maybe it's a marketing ploy. Why is it we always have a big judiciary hearing in the week of a big game? Do you think that's on purpose?

"We don't need it. We don't want players sitting out. Sam Burgess shouldn't be sitting out."

The NRL has handed the Roosters a massive advantage for their qualifying final against South Sydney by banning Sam Burgess but not Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Phil Gould says.

The disciplinary system has sparked outrage ahead of the finals series thanks to a pair incidents from last weekend's Rabbitohs-Roosters game.

Waerea-Hargreaves escaped suspension at the judiciary after being found not guilty of a careless high tackle. Rabbitohs prop Liam Knight suffered a nasty head gash and was taken off on a medicab, though the damage was deemed a "rugby league accident" not directly caused by the Roosters hardman.

Burgess, by contrast, pulled the hair of Roosters winger Billy Smith. The Rabbitohs superstar had already been fined for two judiciary incidents this season, meaning that he had to cop a one-game suspension after being cited by the match review committee.

"Sam Burgess shouldn't be sitting out. Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous," Gould, a former Roosters coach and coaching director, said on his Six Tackles with Gus podcast, speaking with James Bracey.

"My God, we get too pedantic at times, we really do. Villains and heroes; there's a lot to be said for villains and heroes in our game.

Listen to the latest episode of SIX TACKLES WITH GUS at the bottom of the page!

"You talk about players that have a great influence on results - Waerea-Hargreaves is player that has enormous influence on the results at the Roosters.

"When he plays in the team, they win over 64 per cent of the time. When he doesn't play, they only win 40 per cent of the time. You would think that's incredible, for a team that's had such a record and been so good.

"When you think about influential players, you think about your James Maloneys and your Sonny Bill Williams and your Cooper Cronks and your Luke Kearys and your James Tedescos. But the winning percentage with Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in the team drops significantly when he's not there.

"So it was an important thing for them at judiciary the other night. Like they say, when the big dog barks, they all bark, and he's the big dog in that team."

Gould said that Burgess was similarly irreplaceable for the Rabbitohs.

"You can't replace Sam Burgess, but everyone else has just got to lift and do their job better," Gould said.

"He (Waerea-Hargreaves) would have liked to have got hold of Sam, because Sam pulled that kid's hair last week. We're missing one of the big drawcards of the game ... because he (Burgess) tugged on his locks and said, 'Get back out to the wing, young'un'. Oh, we can't have that in rugby league!"

Gould said that Waerea-Hargreaves should never have been charged, cheekily questioning whether there was an ulterior motive.

"He had to get off, I don't know why he was charged," Gould said.

"With these things with the match review committee, the question is, 'Well, what did you want him to do? What different tackle did you expect him to make to the one that he did?'

"He couldn't have done any more than he did, it was just an accident. The fact that he came in contact eventually with the player's head, that wasn't what caused the injury. The injury was caused because he clashed heads with another player, hit his head on the ground and sadly had to be removed.

"That's going to happen in our game. We can't punish everyone because someone gets hurt and gets a bit dizzy.

"I don't think he should ever have been charged, yet we've got to go through two days of publicity. And maybe that's why they do it; maybe it's a marketing ploy. Why is it we always have a big judiciary hearing in the week of a big game? Do you think that's on purpose?

"We don't need it. We don't want players sitting out. Sam Burgess shouldn't be sitting out."

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