He produced one of the defensive plays of the match by diffusing a certain try, but rather than take the accolades, Sam Burgess instead praised Rabbitohs staff for preparing him and his team for such situations.
On the stroke of half-time and with the Roosters searching for points in Friday’s Preliminary Final, Sam Moa hit the ball at speed and looked certain to score a try were it not for a desperate tackle from Burgess, who pulled the hulking prop back from four points with his own formidable size and weight.
“We practice that quite often,” said Burgess.
“At the time it just felt like practice again. I’ve got to thank the staff for putting us into those positions at training – in a game it kind of becomes second nature.”
Now a veteran of the Rabbitohs squad, Burgess praised the efforts of the Club’s young-brigade, isuch as Alex Johnston, Kyle Turner and Dylan Walker for their composure on the big stage.
“I’m really proud of the team, especially the young kids,” said Burgess.
“It could have been very easy for them last night to put the cue in the rack early on, but the determination we showed last night to get back – just proud of the boys but we’re not finished yet.
“We’ve got another eight or nine days preparation, we’re going to knuckle down and see where it takes us.”
Next Sunday’s Grand Final will be the first for Burgess in a career that has seen him achieve much in the game – including representing his country in his teens.
For Burgess, finally getting over the Preliminary Final hurdle was a proud moment.
“I’m just pretty excited,” smiled Burgess.
“I’ve been playing a while and this is my first Grand Final – I think I’ve played in six prelims so it’s finally good to be on the winning end.
“For me personally, it’s my last week and a half here, I’m just going to enjoy the process and enjoy the functions that I have to do with the guys – just try and enjoy every moment.”
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