Today’s fiery play-off match between Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs exploded with ill-discipline.
There were seven yellow cards shown throughout the contest breaking the record for yellow cards in an NRL game whilst five of the eight tries scored came when teams were out numbered.
The most note worthy of these was when Latrell Mitchell powered over from short range after a lovely blindside move whilst Souths were down to 11 men and Sydney had a full compliment.
That gave the Rabbitohs a 12-8 lead despite being two men down. One of the men off the field at this point was Tom Burgess who was culpable for two head high tackles in a row the first of which ended James Tedesco’s night through a HIA whilst the second yielded a yellow card.
Burgess himself would fail a HIA later as three players days’ were ended early by head knocks in a crazy game whilst Daniel Tupou, who scored Sydney’s first try of the game, went off with a groin injury which helped see former St Helens star and future Huddersfield Giants man Kevin Naiqama coming on though he couldn’t prevent the game from increasingly slipping out of the Roosters grasp.
Naiqama thought he had scored in the second half but there had been a knock in the build up in a moment of frustration for the Roosters in a frustrating afternoon for the side.
The seven yellow cards certainly didn’t help things although Souths were the side who suffered the wrath of the referee more. The first went to Victor Radley of the Roosters before back to back yellows went the way of Souths for Tom Burgess and Taane Milne before the Bunnies remarkably scored whilst down to 11.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was the first player in the second half to cop a yellow card for a head slam on England international Burgess.
Then an altercation saw both Tevita Tatola and Radley sin binned later in the half, Radley picking up his second yellow of the game whilst Milne would also cop a second yellow for Souths at the end of the game.
Interestingly, Milne and Radley had sparked the fiery affair with Radley’s first yellow coming controversially when he was ruled to have punched Milne just four minutes into the game.
Radley is of course set to play for England in the World Cup, so Shaun Wane will be hoping no such disciplinary problems arise in this autumn’s tournament.
His season today ended in disappointment as they lost 30-14 to their near neighbours meaning Tom Burgess’ season may not be over despite failing his HIA today.