Sam Burgess says there is no truth in rumours of discontent among the South Sydney players after the team suffered a third straight loss.
Sam Burgess has quashed rumours of discontent in the South Sydney camp and denied the team’s in crisis following a third straight defeat.
The Rabbitohs were downed 30-18 by Canberra at ANZ Stadium on Sunday following a woeful first-half performance that saw them trail 22-0 at the break.
Burgess, who’ll quit the NRL at the end of the year to play rugby in England, said report of an off-season rift in the camp involving him and his teammates was untrue.
“I was away for most of it with the rugby league World Cup,” Burgess said.
“But there’s always talk, I don’t even know what’s said about us and to be honest I am not that fussed about what’s written.
“I think as a group we’re pretty tight and we understand it’s a popular sport and things are going to be written.
“There’s no problem within the team. But I guess there will be a few more things written now we’ve lost three in a row.
“But I can clearly say the group is as tight as it’s been and we hope to turn this around as quickly as possible.”
Souths coach Michael Maguire said the performance against the Raiders and last week’s loss to the Wests Tigers were as bad as it’s been since his arrival at the club in 2012.
Sunday’s defeat was the first time he’s lost three games in a row as coach but remained confident he could lift his players from their current malaise and stop the rot.
“We just have to look at the things that have worked for us,” Maguire said.
“Confidence can come back very quickly. When you play with confidence like we have in the past things work.
“Things at the moment aren’t gelling for us, and we need to find ways of getting better.”
Souths face St George Illawarra at the SCG next Saturday in what’s shaping up as a crucial test of their premiership aspirations.
The foundation club have not won a competition since 1971 and have been one game away from the grand final for the last two seasons.
“It’s a big one, but every game is a big one now, especially when you have lost the last three,” Burgess said.
“We just have to get back on the training paddock and work hard.”
Burgess also backed Adam Reynolds to recapture the form that saw him tipped as the next NSW halfback.
The 23-year-old has struggled to inspire his side’s attack this year and was completely outplayed by opposite number Terry Campese on Sunday.
“The boys support him, Adam is a great kid and he will come out on the other end of it.
“He’s a great competitor and everyone believes in him, as he does himself. We’ve just got to hold onto the ball and make his life a bit easier.”
Ricky Stuart was delighted with the way his side bounced back from a dismal display against the Gold Coast last week and said he expects his players to maintain the standards they showed against Souths.
“We’ve got to expect to win,” Stuart said.
“Outside the game against the Gold Coast when we were poor, we’ve been very strong, even when we lost to the Cowboys in Townsville.
“But we have to prepare to win every week and play like this every week.
“But we’ll be alright.”