South Sydney enforcer Sam Burgess will be free to line up in Friday night’s NRL blockbuster against Manly after escaping suspension for a careless high tackle charge.
Burgess was charged with a grade two offence for catching Gold Coast fullback William Zillman high in Sunday’s 22-18 win over the Titans, but an early guilty plea will see him available to face the Sea Eagles in Gosford.
Should Burgess fight the charge at the judiciary and lose, he would spend a week on the sidelines.
The powerful front-rower appeared to suffer an ankle injury late in the game on Sunday, but has been cleared of damage by Souths and there’s no risk of him not playing against the Sea Eagles.
However, Manly could be without one of their big men for the top-four showdown, with prop Darcy Lussick set to miss two matches for a grade two striking charge on North Queensland’s Ashton Sims.
Lussick has two prior offences, placing him in a difficult position where he could miss three matches if he fights the charge and loses.
The enticing clash between second-placed Souths and fourth-placed Manly could be a preview of semi-final action to come.
Cronulla’s Colin Best copped a grade one tripping charge in Sunday’s huge win over the Warriors, but will be free to face Newcastle on Monday.
Best will skip suspension whether he accepts the early guilty plea or fights the matter at Wednesday’s judiciary.