Brisbane Broncos hooker Isaac Luke has taken aim former South Sydney Rabbitohs teammate Sam Burgess as the fallout from the side’s loss to the Gold Coast Titans continued.
While league legends and fans have had their say across a wide variety of formats, Luke took most umbrage at Burgess most of all.
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The pair were in the Rabbitohs 2014 premiership winning side together, although Luke was devastatingly suspended for the decider that ended a 43-year wait at the club.
Luke who was at the club between 2007 and 2015 and played 188 games in red and green, played alongside Burgess in his first stint at the club before he went to rugby union.
Luke, who has had a long stint at the New Zealand Warriors before returning to Australia earlier in the year with the St George Illawarra Dragons before moving to the Broncos three games into the season, has been the main player pointed to following the Broncos’ 30-12 loss to the Gold Coast Titans on Saturday after players were seen joking and hugging opposition players post match.
While players such as Paul Gallen said “I hate that” and former Queensland Origin forward Martin Lang said it showed “they really couldn’t give a s*** about the result”, the barb that seemingly stuck closest to home was Burgess’.
Speaking on The Matty Johns Show, Burgess took aim.
“With Issac I can understand because he’s been there for two minutes and probably doesn’t appreciate the situation they’re in,” Sam Burgess told Sunday Night With Matty Johns.
“If I was a senior player I would be filthy at that. And I’d to Issac ‘listen mate we don’t do that here’ and then he wouldn’t do it next time.
“It should hurt you to lose a game by that many points, against a lesser opposition and to lose five in a row. I’d be straight in the sheds, I’m filthy.”
While Nathan Hindmarsh added that later in his career he’d be happy to have a joke and Matthew Johns said he tells younger players to catch up with their mates in the dressing rooms, rather than out on the field, Burgess’ criticism appeared to hit home with Luke taking to Twitter to fire back.
“For years I’ve always played with my heart on my sleeve. And I will until the day I hang my boots up. The actions that happened after yesterday’s game were poor on my behalf I accept that. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt to lose,” Luke wrote.
“I came to the club because it has been a big dream of mine to don the jersey. A team that I’ve admire over my time of knowing rugby league. It hurts to lose I hate it. And @SamBurgess8 you know me more than anyone on that panel at how much it would affect me Losing last night.
“I also accept that it was in poor taste to show that I don’t care about this club or the jersey. I love this club. I’m also sorry to the members and fans as well as the rugby league community for showing that.
“Normally I wouldn’t react to such I thing like this. It’s just more publicity for the media. But when one of my good mates @SamBurgess8 said something it hits me personally as he knows what I’m like. You have my number brother. I’m only a phone call away.”
Luke’s love for the Broncos jersey was one of the reasons he gave for leaving the Dragons as he wanted to finish in Brisbane for his post-career future.
“With support from the club and their understanding they were happy to release me to take an opportunity in Brisbane where my family and I were going to live after footy finished,” he said at the time.
“My wife has followed me through my career and through all that we always said that we will finish in Brisbane.
“Brisbane Broncos gave us an opportunity to go home. And we are taking it. I can’t wait to rip in.”
With more fallout expected over the week, this is probably not the last we’ve heard of this.