It may be Round 20, but competition for spots in Michael Maguire’s starting side is as hot as ever according to prop-forward George Burgess – and the side is all the better for it.
The English international is 67 games into his NRL career, but with talented forwards the likes of Dave Tyrrell, Tim Grant and brother, Thomas, all enjoying rotation in the front row, the need for consistency is high on the agenda for each player.
“It’s great to see that at this time of year people are still pushing for spots because it just improves the standards that we have as a team,” said Burgess.
“It’s healthy because the more pressure you’re under the better you tend to perform – at least that’s the way I look at it because it’s a challenge. Healthy competition is important and that’s what makes a squad really.”
The Rabbitohs will this week face a resurgent Newcastle Knights outfit on Saturday night at ANZ Stadium – the Knights coming off a brilliant defensive performance that saw them down the Gold Coast Titans 30-2 at Hunter Stadium.
“The Knight’s will be hungry for sure,” said Burgess.
“They had a few losses but had a great win last week so they’ll be looking to repeat that and get a bit of consistency within their team so they can finish off their year well.
“We were pleased with our game on Saturday – the Dragons were backs against the wall because they'd lost five games in a row. So we were coming up against a team that had everything to play for and we managed to get the two points
“They’re a quality outfit and they had plenty of guys coming back into their side, so to post 24 points against them was pleasing.
“We’ve always got stuff to work on though. We’ll go back and look at the video, looking for things that we can really improve on to make sure that we just keep getting better each week.”
Burgess is expecting a huge turn-out at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night in what will be the side’s first game back at home since Round 16 against the Sea Eagles.
“We’ve got the best Members and fans in the league,” said George, proudly referring to the level of noise at the SCG over the weekend.
“They turn up every week and throw their support behind us and we really appreciate it. I’m sure there’ll be plenty out there on Saturday when we go home to ANZ.”
The Rabbitohs will take on the Newcastle Knights this Saturday night at ANZ Stadium, with kick-off slated for 7:30pm. Click here to purchase your tickets!