We Need to talk: Burgess should be disciplined after eye gouging incident

Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Thursday, 8 November 2018, 12:15PM

The GBI (George Burgess Incident) is wrong on 3 different levels.

First him and the fact he gouged Watene-Zelezniak’s eyes. And he did do it. This half-assed Twitter excuse that he "didn't know he was doing it" and he has "far too much respect for his opponents to act like that”, is about as relevant and believable as most of the rest of the tosh, social media spews forth.

George, the pictures don't lie. You held his head like a bowling ball. Your fingers found his eyeballs like you were dialling an old payphone.

Whether intended or not isn't important. The eyes, like the head and the reproductive zone, are out of bounds. No argument, no debate, no excuse. Every player playing every contact sport knows that from the moment they first laced a boot.

Second lot to wear it should be the on-field officials and TMO. I refuse to believe that none of these guys either saw the incident first-hand or were subsequently made aware of it via TV replay, which can only mean they did know it happened yet chose, for reasons best known to themselves, to do nothing about it. 

Think about that for a second. The TMO had to have seen the pictures. The pictures were shamefully clear and obvious. One man was on the ground trapped and unable to defend himself while another man gouged his eyes. This man, whose job is to study the vision and advise the referee accordingly, decided to ignore one of the most clear and blatant acts of foul play ever to be caught on camera. And not a word of explanation proffered or even offered.

The third mob in the firing line, the post-match judiciary aka the "international disciplinary panel". Those idiots responsible for dishing out a four-week punishment for the offence, effectively the sport equivalent of a slap on the wrist with a fresh mascara.

No-one, apart from the victim Kiwi captain Watene-Zelezniak, has emerged with any credit at all from this incident. 

One nasty finger in the eye of the sport on every level it's looked at. Hard enough to figure out why one player would do it to another, almost impossible to understand why the game would want do it to itself.