Banking premiership points before a testing State of Origin period is vital for Souths and Melbourne in their NRL clash says Rabbitohs forward Sam Burgess.
Sam Burgess says banking two premiership points as insurance ahead of a testing State of Origin series is the key focus for South Sydney and Melbourne when they clash at ANZ Stadium on Friday.
Both sides are set to be heavily hit by a demanding Origin period, Souths will likely be missing Greg Inglis, Chris McQueen and Ben Te’o to the Queensland side, while Melbourne of course will be without their big three to the Maroons; Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater.
England international Burgess says it is vital to have points in the bank ahead of the uncertainty of the Origin series.
“This period is tough for a lot of clubs now, losing players through Origin,” Burgess said.
“It’s a really vital part of the season to see where things end up at the back end.
“Everyone has their Origin players this week and it is key to get wins at this time of the year.
“Everyone is desperate and everyone is hungry for the two points and no one is more experienced than those boys (Smith, Cronk and Slater) so we are going to have our hands full.”
Burgess also pinpointed Kiwi prop Jesse Bromwich as a linchpin in the Storm side ahead of coach Craig Bellamy’s 300th game holding the clipboard.
The sides last met in Souths’ 20-10 win in week one of the finals last year.
“They are a great team; they are very well coached. They obviously have the big guys there and, Jesse Browmich, he has been playing some good footy,” Burgess said.
“We have had some real battles against them and it will be a good test for us.”
The Rabbitohs are unchanged from the side that made light work of the Gold Coast last start, while Joel Romelo replaces the suspended Ben Hampton at five-eighth for the Storm.