A war of words has erupted between South Sydney and St George Illawarra after Greg Inglis was left facing a potential five-match ban for his shoulder charge on Dean Young.
Inglis was slugged with a grade four dangerous contact charge on Monday and will miss four games with an early guilty plea – five if he fights the charge at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday and loses.
On a busy day for the NRL match review committee, eight players were charged including Penrith’s Travis Burns, who could be rubbed out for half a season following his send off against Sydney Roosters.
Burns is facing a possible 17-week ban after his send-off for a high shot on Sydney Roosters prop Martin Kennedy as well as a chicken wing tackle on Mose Masoe in his side’s 28-16 win on Sunday.
Minutes after news broke that Inglis had been charged, Souths coach Michael Maguire launched an astonishing attack on rival coach Steve Price.
Maguire accused Price of breaking NRL rules by commenting on the incident after the game when he compared the challenge to that of Dragons forward Matt Prior who was banned for five games for elbowing Johnathan Thurston in the face in round nine.
Maguire said Price had exacerbated the situation and was trying to prejudice the case before it reached the match review committee.
“We operated within the rules of the NRL. The Dragons didn’t,” Maguire said.
“It is against the NRL rules to comment on any matter that is subject to review by the match review committee or the judiciary. Steve Price’s comments have incited a media frenzy around this incident.”
Maguire was backed by Rabbitohs chief executive Shane Richardson who called for action to be taken against the Dragons coach.
“It clearly states in the NRL code of conduct, section 30, sub-sections (1) and (2) under the heading of public comment, that no one shall comment on any subject of a proceeding before the match review committee,” Richardson said.
“The ARLC should be doing something about this.”
Dragons chief executive Peter Doust said Souths’ claims were “outrageous.”
“Steve Price on several occasions declined to make any detailed remarks on the incident concerning the Rabbitohs player and acknowledged it was on report and therefore subject to the NRL judicial process,” Doust said.
“On review of the transcript from the post-match press conference, Steve Price clearly stated the obvious and looked to comment on Dean Young’s well-being – the subject of many enquiries on that evening.
“We believe the Rabbitohs’ comments are very outrageous, emotional and transparent.
“It is laughable that they would look to blame Steve Price.”
Penrith said on Monday they would review footage of the two incidents involving Burns and take legal advice before deciding whether to fight the charges.
Brisbane pair Ben Te’o and Josh Hoffman, Dragons trio Dan Hunt, Josh Miller and Trent Merrin plus Canberra’s Josh Papalii were also charged.
Te’o is facing a week out for a grade two careless high-tackle on Gold Coast forward Luke Bailey.
Hoffman could miss two weeks for a tackle on Bailey which was deemed grade two dangerous contact.
Hunt, Merrin and Miller have all been charged with grade one careless high tackles, but will be free to play at the weekend.
Papalii was charged with grade one dangerous contact with a kicker, but can play this weekend if he takes the early guilty plea.