Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has taken a sly swipe at both Sam and Tom Burgess after his team's 42-22 loss to the Rabbitohs in Gosford, saying Sam was lucky Raiders half Aidan Sezer didn't lie down when hit late by the Bunnies enforcer.
Stuart's comments referenced Sam's own press conference earlier in the week in which he implied Bulldogs centre Josh Morris lay down after being hit by Burgess on Easter Monday, with the Souths forward attracting a two-week suspension for leading with the elbow.
Stuart's comments were also a direct swipe at Tom Burgess, who stayed down with apparent whiplash after being hit from behind off the ball by Elliott Whitehead in Saturday's game.
"That's not for me to comment on [whether Sam should have been sin-binned] – I hope Sam's happy that Sezer doesn't lay down for him," Stuart responded when asked about the shot that saw Burgess placed on report.
When questioned about whether Whitehead may have a case to answer at the judiciary, Stuart repeated the jab at the other brother.
"At least Aidan Sezer didn't lay down," he responded.
Stuart and Croker on Sam Burgess's tackle
Both Stuart and Raiders captain Jarrod Croker questioned the consistency in the use of the sin bin with Sam allowed to stay on the field for a high shot on Sezer while Croker himself was sin-binned for a professional foul for what they believed to be minor contact off the ball on Angus Crichton in a try-scoring situation.
"It's not an excuse. I don't want anyone to think that's an excuse. It's just difficult to comprehend in regards to interpretations," Stuart said.
"We didn't start well at all and it transpired from there. First couple of sets, we rolled down the field, they rolled down the field. Then possession equals penalties and that equals points. We couldn't get much possession in that first 20 minutes which made it really hard for us and they outplayed us.
"We don't lose the game over [the Croker sin bin]... They're tough calls. Jarrod goes at him then lets him go, releases him, I don't think it had any effect on the roll of play."
Croker said Sam's hit on Sezer was "pretty ordinary".
"It wasn't pretty was it. Sia Soliola got six weeks for something like that last year," Croker said.
"I get sin binned which, it's a professional foul but something like that happens twice, it happened to Luke Bateman (who was hit high by George Burgess) as well and those guys stay on the field. It's not an excuse at all but it's just trying to compare that.
"[Sam] plays the game hard and he slipped up on that one, it was a bad one, it was pretty ordinary."
Match: Rabbitohs v Raiders
Round 7 -
Venue: Central Coast Stadium