NRL superstar Sam Burgess says it’s impossible not to feel for Parramatta players but he’s more concerned about South Sydney’s plight.
The Rabbitohs will be the first team to face Parramatta after the Eels were hit with a breach notice for alleged salary-cap breaches and Burgess has warned teammates to brace for some backlash at Pirtek Stadium next Friday night.
“They’ve been extremely committed this year and in great form, so I don’t see that changing,” Burgess told AAP on Friday.
“I don’t think it really changes too much. They’re going to turn up and play well regardless of what’s going on.”
Burgess says it’s hard to imagine the prospect of playing the rest of the season, or even a game or two, without being able to earn competition points, the very real scenario the Eels are facing if the club doesn’t squeeze under the cap.
“I feel for the players, obviously. This competition is tough as it is,” he said after promoting his new Burgess Burger at Ribs & Burgers at Westfield Eastgardens.
“I’m certainly sympathetic to all of the players and whatever they’re going to face.
“But, on the other side of things, we’ve got our own faults to put right so I’m not really going to waste too much time thinking about what’s going on elsewhere.”
Souths have fallen to 12th on the ladder after three straight defeats and Burgess knows it’s imperative they turn things around quickly before the season slips away from the 2014 premiers.
“We’re nine games in. Certainly we know our win-loss ratio has to even itself back up,” he said.
“We’ll put our best foot forward next week and, for us, it’s about going week to week now.
“We’ve got to focus on our performances weekly. Otherwise we’ll get lost and before we know it our season’s gone.”
He also jumped to the defence of Souths captain Greg Inglis, whose future at fullback has been questioned during the Rabbitohs’ slump.
“Greg’s come in for a bit of criticism but I see it as a little unfair,” the forward enforcer said.
“We’re probably not doing it in the middle so we’re not giving him the opportunity in that respect.
“That said, it’s a knock-on effect. We’ve got to sharpen up in a few areas and we’re aware of that now.”