NRL Expert @JennaBrooks
Inside the NRL: England forward Sam Burgess facing suspension
Last Updated: 05/09/16 10:57am
Jenna Brooks wraps up the NRL regular season as Melbourne finish top, England could be dealt a blow as Sam Burgess faces suspension, plus could the Robbie Farah saga be coming to an end?
Melbourne beat Cronulla 24-6 to finish the regular season on top of the ladder. Cheyse Blair scored two tries to help the Storm claim the minor premiership for a fifth time in 11 years, although the club were stripped of the title in 2006, 2007 and 2008 due to salary cap breaches.
The Sharks were looking to finish the year in top spot for the first time since 1999, but they were no match for the Storm, who led 10-2 at half-time.
Melbourne's win sets up a home match against the 2015 premiers North Queensland, who finished fourth after they beat the Gold Coast 32-16.
Despite the Storm winning both games against the Cowboys this season, Cameron Smith said that counts for nothing come finals football.
"There are a lot of things that we need to reset now and have a look at what we want to come up with against the Cowboys," he said.
One of the biggest obstacles for Melbourne will be reigning Dally M winner Johnathan Thurston. The star playmaker became the fifth-highest point scorer in the game's history on Friday, kicking five conversions and a penalty to reach 1,979 points.
Sam Burgess is facing a one-match suspension after being charged for tripping Canterbury prop Aiden Tolman during South Sydney's 28-10 win over the Bulldogs.
If found guilty, Burgess could be forced to serve the ban during England's Test match against France in October, if selected in the side.
Meanwhile, the Rabbitohs forward has defended his England team-mate James Graham, who was seen to kick out at Burgess in the same game.
The incident occurred when the pair came together in an awkward tackle that saw Burgess come in late. The Bulldogs captain was put on report, but has escaped punishment.
When Burgess was asked about the incident after the game, he was adamant there was nothing in it.
"It didn't get me," he said. "I don't want to see him miss any games. Look, it's a battle out there and we're both competitive blokes and it's going to boil over."
Joe Burgess might be back at Wigan next year but that didn't stop the outgoing winger ending his time with South Sydney on a high.
Burgess scored an impressive length of the field try to help the Rabbitohs to an 18-point victory over Canterbury.
Burgess wrote on Instagram: "Enjoyed my time in Australia, hopefully I'll come back to finish my Australian chapter."
Finally an end for Farah
The Robbie Farah saga appears to be coming to an end. After months of speculation, the Wests Tigers have finally confirmed the hooker has been released from the final year of his contract.
His next move is expected to be announced in the next two weeks, but South Sydney and Cronulla remain favourites to sign the 32-year old.
The former Tigers captain watched as his team missed out on a finals place after losing 52-10 to Canberra on Sunday. After the game, he climbed the scoreboard and enjoyed a beer in front of some loyal fans at Leichhardt Oval.
Farah said he felt an enormous amount of relief: "It's been a difficult period for myself so to close a chapter on that is a bit of relief, some sadness, some excitement looking forward."
Nathan Brown's Newcastle ended their season with an 18th straight defeat, leaving them with just one win all season.
A late Gareth Widdop penalty secured St George Illawarra's 28-26 win over the Knights, who surrendered a 10-point lead.
Despite picking up the wooden spoon, Brown is optimistic for 2017.
"At the start of the next pre-season, we will be in a far better position than we were last time," he said.
"We lost 1200 games of experience and only gained Hokko (Trent Hodkinson). But now we have introduced a lot of young players to first grade and now we're under the salary cap."