NRL stars targetting Sam Burgess’ protective nature

Wests Tigers front-rower Aaron Woods claims a tactic designed to upset Sam Burgess is to thank for their surprise 25-16 win over South Sydney on Friday.

The New South Wales representative, 23, said he purposefully gave the Englishman’s brother George rough treatment in order to upset Sam and force him to concede a penalty.

The Burgess brothers Sam (left) and George (right) in England training. ©
The Burgess brothers Sam (left) and George (right) in England training. ©

Indeed, in the ninth minute, with Souths winning 6-0, Woods got physical with George and, like clockwork, in steamed Sam, who conceded a penalty and was lucky not to be sin-binned. It seems the NRL have finally figured out how to stop the 25-year-old, as that moment turned out to be a game-changer.

“Sam came running in, he overreacted, George wants to keep pushing forward when he is on his knees so you have to fold him back and win the ruck,” Woods said.

“If Sam wants to tackle for no reason, we got the penalty and that’s what turned the game. Everybody talks up the four Burgess brothers and we wanted to put it on them early.”

Manly prop Jason King, who did the same thing the week before and watched on as the Sea Eagles took down the Bunnies 14-12, was Woods’ inspiration.

“I think Manly showed the way to play against them last week, so we just took that from their books,” he added.

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