The middle of the season is when teams are expected to hit their stride and the South Sydney Rabbitohs are doing just that, recording their fourth win in a row after a comfortable 32-10 win over the Wests Tigers.
In front of a crowd of just over 20,000, a six-day turnaround helped the Bunnies, as they were led by talented rookies Kyle Turner and Alex Johnston, both of whom scored doubles.
For the first time this season, all four Burgess brothers played in the same game, though there is some concern over George who left the field early with an ankle complaint.
The Tigers started the game brightly, before they were overpowered by a dominant Souths pack that they had no answer for.
Despite the scoreline, the Tigers had chances of their own but could not convert on them, instead making too many errors that robbed them of chances.
Souths head coach Michael Maguire praised his side for the way they stood up and performed, especially after some gruelling performances in the last couple of weeks.
“They really stepped up with the things off the field they’re doing and they really looked after themselves,” said Maguire.
“We’ve just gotta keep going with what we’re doing at the moment.”
Despite the win, there were a few injury concerns for Souths. Joe Picker left the field with a big lump on his head and a hint of concussion, whereas both Kirisome Auva’a and George Burgess both suffered possible ankle syndesmosis injuries, with scans to confirm more.
“Joey just got clipped on the forehead there, I think by George actually and he ended up having quite a large kump there,” said Maguire.
“George twinged his ankle – the syndesmosis – so you have to find out the severity of that and same with young Somi [Kirisome Auva’a].”
“The bye’s come at a good time for us, so we can have a good break and really focus on our next game.”
The loss was disappointing for the Tigers, with coach Mick Potter lamenting his side’s errors that gave the Bunnies good field position.
“Yeah, we gifted them good field position and making errors down your own end is just fraught with danger,” said Potter.
“We burnt a lot of juice in the first half trying to hold them out.”
3. Alex Johnston
2. Kyle Turner
1. Sam Burgess/John Sutton.