Thurston: ‘Is he the dumbest player ever?’
It's the obvious question and it was former rugby league legend Johnathan Thurston who was brave enough to ask it.
"Is he the dumbest player ever?"
Was Thurston's retort when The Daily Telegraph asked the premiership winner about Canberra's Hudson Young and his alleged eye gouge against New Zealand's Adam Pompey over the weekend.
Thurston was totally bemused as to why Young would even attempt to eye gouge an opposition player considering he has already been suspended for five weeks on the exact same charge against Canterbury's Aiden Tolman in round 12.
"He's already missed five weeks for it … is he the dumbest player ever? Clearly. Imagine how Sticky (Ricky Stuart) and his teammates are feeling right now. He's rubbed himself out of the finals series and he'll miss a fair chunk of next year. As a player, I'd be filthy we're missing one of our best 17 for the finals," Thurston said.
Young was referred straight to the judiciary after the latest incident and is pleading not guilty to a dangerous contact - head/neck charge.
Canberra have hired legal gun Nick Ghabar, who helped South Sydney's Sam Burgess escape suspension for his high tackle on Cronulla's Matt Moylan back in round 20.
Raiders captain Jarrod Croker was quick defend his rookie forward.
"He's a good kid, it wasn't ideal on the weekend. He's been through a few things when he was younger and he's come out the other side. He's been playing some really good footy so we are making sure he's wellbeing is good," he said.
"He's doing well. We had a breakfast and he was there and was in good spirits and I haven't seen him since then. There's not much more we can do until tonight."
Rabbitohs skipper Burgess will miss Friday night's blockbuster final against arch rivals the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Cricket Ground after he opted to take the early plea on a contrary conduct charge.
The English international, who is no stranger to the judiciary, already has a lengthy rap sheet and his most recent charge for pulling Roosters centre Billy Smith's hair is the 15th indiscretion of his career since 2010.
Speaking at Monday's NRL finals series launch, an irate Burgess hit back at a reporter who questioned if he needed to reconsider his aggressive style of play.
"No," Burgess said.
But then when asked why he didn't need to temper his game, Burgess accused the reporter of trying to put words in his mouth: "What do you want me to say?" Burgess replied. "Well you kind of are [putting words in my mouth], because I've said no and you've gone again, so what do you want me to say?"
The enforcer also took aim at the NRL's match review committee, claiming the panel were lacking perspective over the incident.
"The decision has probably been made the next morning in front of a computer without a feel or anything for the game," Burgess said.
"There's no point in me making any more noise, I don't want the headlines.
"I'm disappointed, everyone else is probably disappointed, I'm sure some people in the NRL are probably disappointed as well."
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