SOUTH Sydney’s Burgess brothers are staring down the barrel of NRL oblivion in 2017 after the Rabbitohs’ lost their fifth game in six starts at the weekend.
After trailing 18-0, Michael Maguire’s side staged a belated comeback on the way to a 22-16 defeat to Parramatta at ANZ Stadium on Friday in a split round to compensate for State of Origin this Wednesday.
The Bunnies lie third last on the table after 12 rounds, with just four wins for the season
“The first half, we didn’t turn up,” captain Sam Burgess said.
“They ran harder, tackled harder. That’s the most disappointing thing. If we turn up and we have a go …
“I think each player has to have a look at themselves and do better because, doing that in the NRL, you’re going to be in the bottom half of the table.
JOSH HODGSON: 32 tackles over 80 minutes in the 24-16 success against Sydney Roosters.
SAM BURGESS: 158 metres, 34 tackles and five missed tackles over 80 minutes in the 22-16 loss to Parramatta
“It’s a personal thing. Everyone’s got a job to do. It’s your responsibility to go and do it. It only takes a small percentage to not be ‘on’ and … it’s only three or four players who cost you 18 points.
“Look, it’s a tough comp and to be competitive … you have to do your job. Every player, every game.”
The 2016 Four Nations captain rejected the short turn-around from a Sunday game in Perth as a reason for the disappointing showing. “There’s no excuse. I think that’s a weak excuse. You’ve got to get ready for a game of football.
"I need to have a proper look at the game, too, to see where we got broken down and to have a look at our body language and see what’s going on – as well as every other player.”
JAMES GRAHAM forced off with nerve damage to the shoulder after 20 minutes at Southern Cross Stadium. Still managed 23 tackles
GEORGE BURGESS: 105 metres and 28 tackles during 55 minutes of field time at ANZ Stadium.
The NRL regular season this weekend reaches its halfway point. Brother George Burgess added: “We’ve got a lot of work to do. Obviously, we’ve got the bye so hopefully the boys can get rested up and come back with a lot of energy.
“Tonight wasn’t really good enough. We need to get those games won.”
Elsewhere, Canterbury skipper James Graham will have scans on nerve damage in the shoulder/neck area which restricted him to just 20 minutes in the 9-8 defeat to Cronulla at Southern Cross Stadium on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs take on Penrith at ANZ Stadium in Sunday.
“He’s got a neck injury,” said coach Des Hasler. “That’s why he’s not here (at the media conference) but he’ll be OK.”
Josh Hodgson and Elliott Whitehead were on the winning side as Canberra outlasted Sydney Roosters 24-16 at GIO Stadium on Sunday.
Afterwards, Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said his side was less effective in attack this year because the opposition had learned to “cheat” in the ruck.
CHRIS HEIGHINGTON: Started at prop, played only 29 minutes and still managed 138 metres in Cronulla’s 9-8 win over Canterbury.
ELLIOTT WHITEHEAD: 41 tackles and five missed at GIO Stadium in Raiders victory over Roosters