HOME & AWAY: NRL round 22

7th August 2017, 16:40

steve_mascord

HOME & AWAY: NRL round 22

By Steve Mascord

ENGLAND superstar Sam Burgess has allayed fears a plethora of niggling injuries has endangered his World Cup campaign.

Burgess is bravely battling on for South Sydney despite the fact they cannot make the NRL finals and despite registering impressive stats, he admits he is a long way below 100 per cent fitness.

It’s led to concerns that end-of-season surgeries could make him an extremely costly withdrawal from coach Wayne Bennett’s side.

GARETH WIDDOP: A try assist and four goals in a heart-breaking late loss by St George-Illawarra to South Sydney

CHRIS HEIGHINGTON: 22 minutes off the bench was enough for ‘Heino’ to make 44 tackles

“There’s plenty of time between now and then,” Burgess said. “I’ve got the chance to rest at the end of the season.

“I’ll be right come that time.”

The bunnies broke a month-long drought by scoring two late tries to beat St George Illawarra at the Sydney Cricket Ground in round 22 of the NRL, with scrum-half Adam Reynolds’ goal winning the day.

And one of the stars was a teenager on debut, winger Campbell Graham who was called up on the morning of the match. Graham has two Scottish parents and is in line for a Bravehearts World Cup call-up.

“I must congratulate young Campbell Graham on debut,” said Burgess. “I thought he was very strong for us out the back and he’s got a great career in front of him.

“(The World Cup) may be too soon for Campbell. I might have to tell him to rest out if he’s playing against England.”

JAMES GRAHAM: 126 metres and 35 tackles in a 55 minutes stint in a 20-4 defeat to Parramatta

JOSH HODGSON: Credited with turning around Canberra; a line break, a try assist and a try in a 30-12 win over premiers Cronulla

The match-levelling try on Friday was scored by Leigh-bound winger Bryson Goodwin and he says he’s joining the Centurions whether or not they stay in Super League.

"I think they'll be all right," Goodwin said. "They've got a really good squad; hopefully they do really well and stay in the Super League." Pressed on whether his deal was binding regardless, Goodwin answered: "Yeah, yeah. I'll be still going."


Sam Burgess has hit back claims from former Souths prop Mark Carroll that George and Tom Burgess are too big for the modern game.

“I think Spud (Carroll) should think back to when he played – he was pretty big himself,” Sam told reporters in Sydney on Monday.


And journalist Paul Kent has told the audience on NRL 360, a satellite TV show on Fox Sports’ dedicated Rugby League channel, that Josh Hodgson is now in control of the Canberra Raiders.

That’s the reason they upset premiers Cronulla on Saturday, according to Kent.

ELLIOTT WHITEHEAD: 169 metres, 29 tackles and five missed tackles at Southern Cross Stadium