South Sydney captain Sam Burgess delayed a birthday dinner for his wife for victory at the NRL judiciary to ensure a Friday night date with Brisbane at ANZ Stadium.
The Rabbitohs lock successfully argued on Tuesday night that he hadn't hit Canterbury forward Greg Eastwood with a shoulder charge on Good Friday - but rather knocked him to the ground with his chest, neck and jaw.
Burgess told the judiciary that he had only braced as Eastwood passed before reaching the line, and that any contact had been generated by the Bulldogs' ball-carrier in the Bunnies 24-9 loss.
"It clearly wasn't a shoulder charge," Burgess said after the hearing.
"The impact was with chest and head and neck collided."
Outside, Burgess was in a rush to meet with his wife Phoebe for their first dinner without four-month old baby daughter Poppy.
But inside, he and defence lawyer Nick Ghabar left no stone unturned to ensure the Rabbitohs' inspirational player was free to play the Broncos and Manly in the coming fortnight.
Staring down the barrel of a two-week ban, Burgess argued he was merely bracing for contact when he was penalised for the eighth-minute hit.
In a hearing that went for just short of an hour, Burgess' defence team also argued that the prosecution's main evidence, one of nine camera angles shown, was misleading and virtually an optical illusion.
Instead, they presented three photographs they - along with coach Michael Maguire - said showed the contact was clearly front on as Burgess attempted to remain square.
"His shoulder is actually in my jaw," Burgess said.
"It's physically impossible for that to happen if I'm making a shoulder charge.
"If I stayed upright I risk injury or being knocked out myself."
Meanwhile the NRL's counsel Peter McGrath pointed out Burgess' lack of effort to use his arms in the tackle, and claimed he had turned his left shoulder into Eastwood.
"You've transferred weight to your left foot," he said.
"You've leant forward with your upper left arm."
But the three-man panel of Dallas Johnson, Tony Puletua and Mal Cochrane disagreed - taking half an hour to deliver their verdict.
And with that Burgess was free to join his wife at dinner, with two very happy reasons to be running late.
"It's the first night without our daughter," Burgess said as he walked out the door of Rugby League Central.
"So I best get going."