South Sydney prop George Burgess hopes a one-week stint in reserve grade will help turn around his ailing NRL season.
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George Burgess turned to the Intrust Super Premiership last weekend to help reinvigorate his season, and he hopes to see the rewards in his 100th NRL game against Penrith on Sunday.
Down on minutes and form after an inconsistent opening half of the season, Burgess and South Sydney coach Michael Maguire agreed he’d spend last week’s bye round with North Sydney.
While the rest of the Rabbitohs were enjoying a weekend off, Burgess got through almost three-quarters of the game in the Bears’ 32-14 loss to Canterbury last Sunday.
His 152 metres – albeit against a lesser opponent – was also his biggest haul of the season.
And the 25-year-old hoped he would see the benefit of that off the bench on Sunday.
“We got through the numbers and the stats and everything and I haven’t had quite a lot of minutes this year,” Burgess said.
“It was good to knock out a solid 55 minutes.
“The only way to get that fitness is to play. You can do as much as you want out on the training field but you’ve got to get in that game situation.”
It’s not the first time Burgess has turned out for the Bears this season.
He was dropped to reserve grade in round one, while he has also spent a combined six weeks on the sideline for separate striking and shoulder charge bans.
The English representative admitted that had hurt his form in the first half of the season, as he had averaged less minutes and got through less metres and tackles in 2017 than in any year since his debut season of 2012.
“It does affect it a little bit,” he said.
“As a player, you want to build consistency week-in, week-out, and build some momentum within your own game and within the team combinations.”
Meanwhile, Burgess’ brother Sam, who will on Sunday return from a glute injury, said he had seen a recent shift in George’s preparation.
“He’s training as strong as I’ve seen him for a while,” Burgess said.
“His body is allowing him to do that, so hopefully it transfers onto the field for us.”
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