With South Sydney looking equal parts contenders and pretenders during the opening half of the season, Sam Burgess says it’s time for the Rabbitohs to prove their NRL finals bona fides.
While they have appeared a side on the decline in 2016, they go into their clash with Gold Coast at ninth on the ladder but only behind eighth-placed Penrith on for and against.
While a month-long losing streak had them looking like missing the finals for the first time since Michael Maguire took over as coach in 2012, back-to-back encouraging wins have put wind in their sails.
“We’ve probably didn’t play our greatest football for a period there but the last few wins, we’ve been more like ourselves,” Burgess said.
“We’ve still got lots to work on as a team but mid-table is a fair indicator. Let’s be honest about it.”
The Rabbitohs have been boosted with Adam Reynolds and Greg Inglis to back up after Origin I.
Burgess said that after delivering just a fraction of their potential, they needed to put it all together against the Titans with a place in the top eight possibly on the line.
“In patches I believe we’ve put it together,” Burgess said.
“We’ve shown signs. But in the NRL you’ve got to do it consistently for 80 minutes to get the win.
“We’ve learning the hard way and learning as a team. But we’re in a good mind frame and looking forward to a tough challenge in Perth.”
For the Titans, mid-season recruit Konrad Hurrell has been named in Neil Henry’s 18-man squad but is unlikely to take on the Rabbitohs.
STATS THAT MATTER
* After winning four of their opening six matches against the Rabbitohs, the Titans have managed to win just one of their past seven against them.
* The Rabbitohs have won five of seven matches at nib Stadium including each of the past three there.
* Rabbitohs are making the second-fewest errors at just 9.3 a game.
* The Titans have won only two of their past 11 away matches stretching back to round 16 in 2015.
Source: Fox Sports Stats