FORCE: Sam Burgess is hopeful the Rabbitohs forward pack can prove a dominant force against the Warriors on the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
FORCE: Sam Burgess is hopeful the Rabbitohs forward pack can prove a dominant force against the Warriors on the Sunshine Coast on Saturday. BRENDON THORNE

Burgess says pack to prove vital in tough clash

RABBITOHS weapon Sam Burgess says the forward pack will be key to securing a positive result on the Sunshine Coast and was hopeful they were up for the challenge.

South Sydney will face-off against the New Zealand Warriors in the region's first-ever NRL round match on Saturday in front of a sell-out crowd at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

Speaking with the Daily last week Burgess was expecting the Warriors to come out hard in the middle but hoped the Rabbitohs could click into gear and fend the charge off.

"The NRL is a really hard competition and every team is fit and big and healthy and prepared so the forward battle is always pretty tough,” he said.

"The result (on Saturday) depends on who gets the win in the forwards so we've got a big task and we know that. They'll be ready, as will we.

"I know that they've got some exciting young players, as we do as well, so it'll be a good game of football either way and they're big boys so they'll be ready for us.”

Burgess said the Rabbitohs pack had been performing okay, but believed they could be better.

"We're going alright but there's plenty to work on still,” he said.

"We're not jumping out of our skin, we're happy with some things but there's things we can improve on as well.”

The 30-year-old said the new signing of forward Ethan Lowe had bolstered the Rabbitohs.

"He's certainly added to the team and he's had to play some good minutes for us and is an experienced player,” Burgess said.

"He's won a competition so there's no surprise, he's always going to do well in our system and we knew that.”

Burgess said the return of Liam Knight would also boost strength in the pack this weekend.

"He was good for us in our first two rounds,” he said.

Wayne Bennett has shifted Burgess from lock on to the right edge, a spot vacated by Crichton, during the early rounds this year, and it was a challenge the 30-year-old had relished.



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