Burgess banned for two matches
South Sydney forward George Burgess will miss two matches after he unsuccessfully challenged his Grade 2 contrary conduct charge at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night.
Burgess was hoping to downgrade the charge at the NRL judiciary which would have enabled him to play in Week Two of the finals if South Sydney defeat the Cronulla Sharks at Allianz Stadium in their elimination Final on Sunday afternoon.
The charge means Burgess will not play again this season unless South Sydney make the Preliminary Final.
The Rabbitohs face Cronulla in an Elimination Final on Sunday, with the winner traveling to Queensland to face the loser of Saturday night's derby between the Broncos and Cowboys.
South Sydney would need to win both games for Burgess to play again this season.
From the same game, Roosters playmaker James Maloney (tripping) and prop Kane Evans (contrary conduct) will both be free to face the Storm in Week 1 of the finals, electing to take early guilty plea for their respective charges.
Knight second-rower Tariq Sims will miss the opening five rounds of 2016, with an early guilty plea for a grade two shoulder charge and prior offences ensuring the NSW Origin hopeful will again miss a large chunk of the opening rounds after he also sat out the first month of his Newcastle career through suspension.
Panthers pair Tupou Sopoaga and Josh Mansour have escaped suspension, while Knights centre Sione Mata'utia will miss Round 1 of the 2016 season, with all three players taking the early plea for charges from an incident which saw emotions spill over the sideline in Penrith's season-ending victory.
Wests Tigers forward Dene Halatau was charged for two separate incidents, but will sit out just one week after receiving a discount for seven years without being charged. Teammate Luke Brooks (dangerous throw) also will miss the Tigers' Round 1 clash next season, with carryover points and a prior offence not helping his cause after he took the early guilty plea.
Titans prop Luke Douglas has escaped suspension with an early guilty plea for his dangerous contact – head/neck charge.