Tigers star Robbie Farah has suffered a sickening concussion and been on the end of a controversial Sam Burgess hit, during an eventful milestone game win against the Rabbitohs on Saturday night.
Burgess was placed on report for a hit on former teammate Farah that sparked heated debate between fans on social media.
Farah was crunched by Burgess in the first half after receiving a questionable pass from teammate Esan Marsters during the Tigers’ 22-6 upset against the competition leaders.
‘WE’VE LOST FANS’: Ricky Stuart lashes NRL over latest ref controversy
REFS BOSS RESPONDS: Sutton phones Stuart to apologise over gaffe
The Wests Tigers player hit the turf hard, grabbing at his jaw as Burgess yelled at him to get up.
Adamant it was a legitimate tackle and that Farah was trying to milk a penalty, the Rabbitohs enforcer gave his former teammate both barrels as the referee stepped in to calm things down.
Rather than being sent off for a concussion test, Farah was allowed to stay on the field to the annoyance of Burgess and his teammates.
The incident sparked plenty of debate on social media as fans argued whether or not it should have been a penalty.
Nothing wrong with that shot by Sam Burgess. And he has a point – surely Robbie should leave the field for a concussion test given he was down and feeling his jaw.
— Brent Read (@brentread_7) July 21, 2018
if its bad enough to lay down and pretend you’re concussed, how is it not bad enough to have a concussion test?
— Jordan Zouroudis (@JZouroudis) July 21, 2018
— Sean McMurtrie (@seanojmac) July 21, 2018
Wrong and wrong. It was high. Not every contact with the head is an instant concussion.
— LordAram (@LordAram) July 21, 2018
Pathetic from Sam Burgess, standing over someone who he’s hit in the head yelling “you weak c…” Great look for the game #NRLTigersSouths
— Darcy Byrne (@MayorDarcy) July 21, 2018
I have the utmost respect for Sam Burgess as a player but there was no way that Farah was milking it. High tackle every day of the week. #NRLTigersRabbitohs
— Steven Russo (@russos1991) July 21, 2018
The Tigers celebrated Farah’s 250th game milestone – and ruined John Sutton’s 300th – with a stunning win that snapped the Rabbitohs’ nine-game winning streak.
The Tigers produced arguably their best performance of the year to keep their finals ambitions alive.
More importantly, the impressive victory in front of a strong crowd of 25,963 on Saturday lifts the Tigers to within four points of the top eight with six games remaining in the season.
The win may have come at a cost however, with rookie Luke Garner, winger David Nofoaluma and Farah all failing to finish the night due to concussion.
Farah, playing against the Rabbitohs for the first time since his mid-season switch in June, left the field in a medicab following a sickening head clash with George Burgess in the 71st minute.
The Tigers had five head injury assessments, with only Elijah Taylor returning to play.
For the Rabbitohs, the heavy defeat opens the door for defending premiers Melbourne or St George Illawarra to move to the top of the table by the end of the round.
Their six points is the lowest by the league’s best attack this season.
Down 10-0 at halftime, the Rabbitohs had a number of looks at reducing the deficit in the second half but were turned away by a Tigers defence reminiscent of their early-season form.
A Moses Mbye try extended the lead to 16, however it wasn’t until Corey Thompson’s 80-metre intercept try in the 67th minute that an impressive win was sealed.
Rabbitohs five-eighth Cody Walker nabbed a consolation try to avoid their first scoreless effort in over two years.
The early signs pointed to boilover at ANZ Stadium, with Esan Marsters crashing over in the eighth minute following huge runs from the Tigers’ forwards.
Sam Burgess tried hard to inspire his teammates with several crunching hits but the Tigers continued to absorb all the pressure before turning the heat back on their opponents with Nofoaluma’s diving effort making it a 10-point lead at halftime.
Rabbitohs fullback Alex Johnston also left the field late with a knee injury.