Energised Rabbitohs not thinking finals yet
They're sitting pretty in third place and only two competition points below the top of the NRL table after winning their past four games, but don't think for a second that the South Sydney Rabbitohs have eyes for September football just yet.
Rejuvenated following their first bye weekend of the year, the Rabbitohs are now focused on this weekend's trip to Townsville, a fixture that brought them unstuck last season with the Cowboys pulling off an upset 30-12 win.
Souths firebrand Sam Burgess, who says he is now fully recovered from back and elbow complaints, insists that finals football is still a distant thought as the team prepare for their first game in 15 days.
"We still have 10 games to play before we get to the finals. It's a long way away. We're just trying do things right week-in, week-out and hopefully when we get to that time we can hope that things will work out," Burgess said.
"We are always trying to grow as a team which is a great thing within our squad. We are never comfortable, we are always trying to work on things, which is a good attitude to have throughout the team but there are things we're happy with and there are things we have to work on still."
While the Rabbitohs' opponents this Saturday night are currently sitting on a two-game losing streak, the Cowboys' form at fortress 1300Smiles Stadium has been almost impeccable with the team losing just one game there this season.
"The Cowboys are always a very tough ask. People are questioning their form at the minute but certainly as a team we are not, we are preparing for a big game up there. They have a lot of star players and they are very good at home," Burgess said.
"We are just preparing ourselves for our performance. Whatever the Cowboys throw at us it's going to be a challenge. Every team, every week is going to be prepared so we're just focusing on ourselves."
The Rabbitohs will have to be wary of Cowboys captain Johnathan Thurston as well with it being revealed on Tuesday he will move to halfback for this weekend's fixture following a hamstring injury to usual No. 7 Ray Thompson.
Rabbitohs playmaker Adam Reynolds believes the Rabbitohs will be on their toes no matter where the Australian and Queensland five-eighth plays.
"He's a great player and a great competitor and he's shown that throughout his career really. He's dangerous with the ball and we have to make sure we're up to the challenge," Reynolds said.
"It's a tough task this weekend and it's going to be a good contest up there. They are a dangerous team up there. Their fans really get behind them and they seem to lift so we just have to prepare well and make sure we deliver."