RUGBY LEAGUE: South Sydney Rabbitohs have had extra stress put on its NRL Finals campaign after club leader Sam Burgess was embroiled in sexting allegations this week.

NRL boss Todd Greenberg admitted the incident, which was raised with the club back in May, is now under investigation by the NRL Integrity Unit.

Burgess has been caught at the centre of the scandal after a woman made a complaint to the club surrounding an incident from May.

The woman alleged, according to a Daily Telegraph report, that a South Sydney player's phone was used to communicate lewd images and video to the 23-year-old.

But will this latest scandal to rock the NRL, sink Souths finals hopes?

 

South Sydney Rabbitohs player Sam Burgess addresses media at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Tuesday, September 18, 2018. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING
South Sydney Rabbitohs player Sam Burgess addresses media at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Tuesday, September 18, 2018. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAP Photos

JARRARD 'POTTSY' POTTER: Drama will see Bunnies boiled

BEFORE the start of the finals series, the South Sydney Rabbitohs were humming towards a grand final berth. They had lost a few tight matches before the finals started, but were never in doubt of finishing in the top four, and a 51-10 demolition of the Wests Tigers showed the whole gamut of their talent and skill.

Now, I'm not so sure they can go on and do the job. A one point loss to the Melbourne Storm in a game where they looked far from their best saw them face off against the St George Illawarra Dragons, who couldn't buy a win leading in to the finals series.

The Rabbitohs were lucky to sneak home to win that elimination final against the Dragons, with three field goals from the boot of halfback Adam Reynolds the difference in a 13-12 win.

So far this finals series, South Sydney have been far from convincing, and their preparation for their must-win game against the Sydney Roosters has been far from ideal, with star forward Sam Burgess embroiled in a sexting scandal that has drawn unwanted attention and headlines to the Bunnies.

Just when we should be talking about the brilliance of finals football, we're bogged in another messy off-field drama. As we've seen countless times in the past, off-field drama has a way of sneaking on to the field, and with the Bunnies needing everything to go right for them this week I feel this distraction is enough to throw them off their game, which is a sad way to end their season.

'MOOSE' ELKERTON: Let's put the focus back on the field

IF THERE is one thing I hate, it's the fact that finals football always signals a chance for a sultry scandal in league.

It is an annual tradition that has showed no signs of abating.

This season it is South Sydney's turn to face the front of the tabloids, with Slammin' Sam Burgess and his meat and two veg wrapped up in a romantic dalliance through his phone's Facetime.

It is a scandal that will derail the Rabbitohs premiership hopes, well that's what the tabloids want to tell us.

In truth, it might just be the petrol to douse the fire in the side's belly as it heads into a do or die preliminary final against Bondi brothers, the Roosters.

Rabbitohs coach Anthony Seibold said there are two sides to any story, and if the club reacts like those before it, they will steadfastly believe Sam's side, and rally around him.

It is a chance for South Sydney to show how the media is out to get the club. It is a chance for them to rise up against that oppression.

It is a chance for a playing group to galvanise around their troubled leader, and fight off all the doubters in the process.

We don't know if it really is Sam's bait and tackle splashed across the front pages.

What we do know is it has taken attention away from how good this finals series has been. So far half of all finals have been decided by a point.

We have the oldest rivalry in the game in a preliminary final and the 2016 grand final rematch in the other.

Can we get the focus back on the field?



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