Competition -  NRL Premiership.
Round - Round 26
Date  -   September 2nd 2016.
Teams - Bulldogs v South Sydney Rabbitohs.
at - ANZ Stadium, Homebush.
Pic - © NRL Photos.
Last Game at Pirtek Stadium, Last Monday Night Game.

Graham shouldn't be suspended: Burgess

Sam Burgess hopes rival forward James Graham isn't suspended for his attempted kick midway through the second half of South Sydney's 28-10 win over the Bulldogs on Friday night. 

The Bulldogs skipper took exception to Burgess's late involvement in a tackle in the 52nd minute and appeared to lash out with his boot in the Rabbitoh's direction. 

The incident was placed on report and is now in the hands of the match review committee. 

The 30-year-old can take solace from the fact Rabbitohs firebrand Nathan Brown avoided sanction earlier in the year after it appeared he had stomped on Gold Coast's Agnatius Paasi. 

"It didn't get me," Burgess said after the heated affair at ANZ Stadium. 

"I don't want to see him miss any games. It's a battle out there and it gets heated. 

"We're both competitive blokes so it's going to boil over. There was nothing in it. If anything, I could have just got up and gotten on with it. I hope he'll be alright and nothing will come of it. 

"It's football. I've got a lot of respect for James. I think everyone knows that we've got a quite open rivalry. 

"It's the first time we've played each other since the grand final. We've got a healthy rivalry and I've got all the respect for him as a player and as a friend. 

"We always have a crack when we play each other and I think that's why we both respect each other."

Burgess defended his involvement in the incident, suggesting his tackle was in fact perfectly legal. 

The Englishman also reminded the media that he had been on the receiving end of a similar tackle from Graham two years ago. 

"You've got to remember that this is a contact sport and there are areas where I [can tackle]," he said. 

"If I'd hit his knee cap then that's illegal, but I hit him around the hip or the waist, so it's a legal tackle. It's a physical game and there's going to be contact in this sport. 

"We're all on the receiving end of it sometimes and James is very good at getting people as well. We played each other in Round 25 in 2014 and he broke my rib in one of those plays. It's football, it's physical so let's get on with it."

Despite tempers boiling over, Burgess said there would be no lingering animosity between the countrymen who will most likely line up alongside each other for the Four Nations series at the end of the year. 

"I love James, I really do. We've been friends for nearly 10 years. I love playing with him and against him," he said. 

"We shook hands. We'll speak to each other over the next day or two and we'll have a joke about it."  

This article first appeared on NRL.com