Happy families keeping Souths on track
With a fourth member of the Burgess clan joining South Sydney, forward Jason Clark believes the club’s family-like environment is helping the team power towards their highest finishing position in 23 years.
Thomas Burgess will join brothers Sam, Luke and his twin George at Redfern Oval next season.
And Clark – one of seven local juniors in the Souths squad to face Manly on Friday – said the close bond between so many of the players has been a key to their six straight NRL wins and rise to second on the ladder.
“We are also a tight-knit group, you could almost call us a family we are that close,” said Clark, who played his junior football with Adam Reynolds, Dylan Farrell, Nathan Peats, and Eddie Pettybourne.
“It’s a very mental game and when you have a few losses it can get you down.
“But having that togetherness in the hard times makes the good times like now more enjoyable.”
Souths have missed the top eight in the last two years after failing to win their final match of the season and Clark revealed a lack of mental strength let the side down.
However, he said that disappointment has strengthened the resolve of the squad under Maguire.
“I think the last two years we lacked the self-belief to get us into the eight,” he said.
“Michael has come in and given us that confidence. He is very much about being self-critical and taking responsibility for how we prepare and what we do on the field.”
Sam Burgess said he was delighted to reunite the whole family in Sydney but said he played no part in Thomas’ decision to leave Bradford despite the Super League club’s crippling financial problems.
“I let him make his own decision,” Burgess said.
“Obviously I wanted him to come to Australia, I knew it would be the best thing for him.
“He was very mature in his decision … I was very proud of the way he handled it. He had two or three offers from clubs in England but personally I am really happy he is here.”
The Yorkshireman said the club’s decision to sign another member of his family has also strengthened his affinity for the Rabbitohs.
“I love this club, the staff, the fans,” he said.
“They have been fantastic to me and my family and I am sure I will be doing a deal soon to stay here longer.”© AAP 2013
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