South Sydney NRL coach Michael Maguire has hailed the new skills in the armoury of his strike forward Sam Burgess.
The British powerhouse has made an impressive return to the NRL following his patchy one-year stint in rugby, where he still managed to add some weapons to his arsenal.
“He’s definitely cracked a few new skills since he’s been away,” Maguire said.
“He’s been a great addition to what we’re doing, you can see it in the offloads.”
Burgess had a hand in three tries in South Sydney’s 48-6 flogging of Newcastle last Saturday – one from a spectacular offload and two others as a result of long cut-out passes.
He’s also averaging more than 150 metres per game and has broken through four would-be tackles, highlighting the fact he seems to have lost none of the ball-running skills he possessed before shifting to the centres in the 15-man game.
“There’s a lot of improvement in Sam’s game. He’s come back in a real good frame of mind about his football,” Maguire added.
“He looks at it and he knows there are areas in his game that he wants to improve on. Whether it’s through the defence or attack, he’s come out in form.”
Despite Burgess’ willingness to create opportunities by throwing the ball around, his ability to pick his moment has still seen the Rabbitohs complete at 85 per cent in the opening two rounds.
Again, it’s something that Maguire sees the 27-year-old leading the pack with ahead of their third round clash with St George Illawarra at the SCG on Sunday.
“We’re mindful of the games we have been able to control quite well with the ball,” he said.
“He’s one that knows consistency is a big key and he wants to improve on the two games he has played.”