Rabbitohs captain Sam Burgess facing NRL ban for high tackle in loss to Sharks

South Sydney captain Sam Burgess is set to miss his team's NRL blockbuster against ladder leaders Melbourne - and face coach Wayne Bennett's wrath - after being charged by the match review panel.

No sooner was Burgess back from eight weeks out with injury than he rattled Cronulla's Matt Moylan with what has been deemed a grade-two, careless high tackle during Saturday's limp 39-28 loss to the Sharks.

If the fiery Englishman takes an early guilty plea he'll miss next Sunday's clash with the Storm, while he faces a two-game ban if he contests the charge and is found guilty.

Three years ago Bennett delivered a withering public spray to Burgess for giving away too many penalties during an England test loss to Australia.

And Bennett didn't try to hide his disappointment after Saturday night's match.

"I'm not happy about that, Sam's been out for a number of weeks and it's time for him to come back and lead from the front and stay within the rules of the game," Bennett said.

"He'll have to get that off his conscience. It's not what we needed at the time, there was no reason for it."

Burgess's woeful disciplinary history has led to him missing 10 games since he came into the NRL in 2010.

Before going in for shoulder surgery, Burgess was considered by many to be lucky to avoid a ban for his part in an ugly brawl in round 13 against Newcastle.

He was accused by Knights skipper Mitchell Pearce of a "dog shot" in the aftermath of the incident.

He was charged with contrary conduct and escaped with a $1350 ($NZ1404) fine but he also has the spectre of loading hanging over his head for two suspensions last year for a careless high tackle and dangerous contact.

"His aggression is important, I want them all to play with aggression," Bennett said.

"But there are rules and we need to stay within those parameters."

Meanwhile, Penrith playmaker James Maloney is poised to miss next weekend's big clash with Cronulla after being slapped with a grade one tripping charge.

Maloney was placed on report after catching Canterbury's Jeremy Marshall-King in the fourth minute of the Bulldogs' shock 16-8 win over the Panthers.

With carry-over points added, Maloney would serve a one-game ban even with an early guilty plea and the only way he can face the Sharks would be if he successfully beats the charge.