He was out of the game for 2 years, and today’s trial was where Souths prop Ben Ross made his triumphant return captaining the South Sydney Rabbitohs to a 10-4 win over the Newtown Jets at Redfern Oval.
Ross played 45 minutes in total in 2 stints on the field, and George Burgess, the younger brother of Souths second-rower Sam Burgess, played 55 minutes in total in a game that kicked-off in 41 degree heat.
Ross was eager to get the ball rolling as soon as possible, and he showed off his eagerness by getting into the action straight away and taking several early hit-ups.
“That was the plan. We aimed to get the kick-off and we knew they would kick to my side, who wouldn’t?” Ross said.
“They said to me run at the first guy you see, don’t worry about stepping, just run at the biggest guy and test it out.
“That’s what I did. He put a massive shoulder on me and it was `welcome back’, it was good.
“I was happy with all the time I got, it was enjoyable.”
George Burgess’s performance was described by Ross as “astonishing” especially for an 18-year old.
Rabbitohs coach John Lang was also very impressed with the work of the younger Burgess.
“The game did what we wanted it to do, get Benny (Ross) back in and gave young George (Burgess) his first run with the boys,” he told reporters.
“I thought for his (Ross’) first gallop, he did pretty well. It will take a while to get his timing, but I thought it was a good hit-out.
“It was a good step for George to get out and play with those boys, he’s never played with any of them before, to play in those conditions, it was tough conditions for your first game.”
George, who was forced to come off in the final quarter after he started suffering from cramps, said that he had never played in conditions so hot before.
“It was a big shock,” Burgess told reporters.