Sam Burgess believes South Sydney teammate Nathan Brown needs to better channel his aggression, as the Rabbitohs forward continues to garner unwanted attention over his questionable NRL acts.
Brown avoided suspension for the second successive week on Monday, after he took the early guilty plea on a dangerous contact charge for kneeing Mitchell Moses in the Rabbitohs’ last-start loss to Wests Tigers.
Burgess warned Brown, 23, to keep his aggression in check.
“I love Nathan, he is a great player, he is great to have around the club, he has plenty of energy and enthusiasm,” Burgess said on Tuesday.
“I guess when you play on that fine line, sometimes you can cross it, but that is what makes Nathan as good a competitor as he is.
“I know myself that sometimes playing on that line, you can get your best performance. But sometimes you can cross it, it is learning to control it (aggression).”
Last week Brown avoided censure from the NRL match review committee after he stomped on the groin of Gold Coast forward Agnatius Paasi.
It was an incident for which even MRC chairman Michael Buettner conceded Brown was lucky to escape being charged over.
“If we had a charge for a grade one dumb act, dog act or s**t act, it would have ticked all the boxes,” Buettner told News Corp Australia.
But Burgess said all the focus on Brown was over the top.
“I think Nathan has come under a bit of unfair media scrutiny over it, it is not the end of the world, I don’t believe,” Burgess said.
“He hasn’t done anything outrageous. I have seen far worse, he will be fine, he will take his punishment and he will try and stay on that line.”
Rabbitohs playmaker Luke Keary agreed with Burgess.
“He hasn’t been suspended,” he said.
“He just plays hard and he plays the game tough, he hasn’t done anything illegal, we like the way he is playing, he is going fine.”