Winger Lote Tuqiri says Sam Burgess brings an important element of aggression to Souths’ pack despite opposition sides getting under his skin.
South Sydney players say prop Sam Burgess doesn’t have a problem with his aggression after his Wests Tigers counterpart Aaron Woods accused him of “carrying on”.
Burgess and Woods clashed after the English front-rower took exception to a first half tackle on his brother George in the Tigers’ upset 25-16 round three NRL victory on Friday.
The incident fired up the Tigers pack, who took it to their Souths counterparts.
Woods claimed the incident as a turning point and said the Tigers had got under the skin of Sam Burgess in the same way interchange prop Jason King had the week before in Manly’s win in Gosford.
But winger Lote Tuqiri said on Thursday the Rabbitohs welcome Sam Burgess’ aggressive style.
“It is a natural thing and I think Sam would have done that with anyone and he said so at halftime,” Tuqiri said.
“It (the tackle) looked pretty bad but it was legal. Those things happen. I’m glad he stepped in and defended his brother.
“We are a close-knit crew here and hopefully he can keep doing that as the year goes on.
“That’s the way we play and that is the way forwards generally play so I would expect nothing less.
“If he wasn’t doing that, I would think he is probably not doing his job.”
Queensland back-rower Chris McQueen, who returns this week from an ankle injury to face Canberra at ANZ Stadium on Sunday, conceded that the Rabbitohs needed to stay better composed.
“The Tigers got under our skin a bit we have had a talk about that,” McQueen said.
“With Sammy in particular, we have that aggression, we really use that and he gets us going forward.
“We have to keep that aggression but be a little bit smarter with it and not let teams get under our skin, if that is what they are trying to do.
“I don’t think he is going too far: he is looking after his brother and teammate.
“After that sort of thing happens, it is just about settling back into the game and concentrating on your job.
“We know teams are going to keep doing that, we have to keep our cool.”