Burgess couldn't feel pain from fractured face
Clive Churchill-medal winning Rabbitohs forward Sam Burgess, who played 80 minutes of a grand final with a broken cheekbone, says he didn't start to feel any pain until after the game.
Burgess repeatedly played down his own match-winning effort, saying the Clive Churchill Medal was accepted on behalf of his team.
But his courageous efforts will go down in history alongside former captain John Sattler's efforts in playing out the 1970 decider with a broken jaw.
Speaking after the 30-6 win over the Bulldogs that broke a 43-year premiership drought with the right half of his face swollen and purple, Burgess said he couldn't really feel any pain from his fractured face whilst on the field but knew it was broken straight away.
"To be honest I couldn't feel the pain, my head was a little bit dizzy, a bit of blurred vision in the right eye... a few of the boys recognised early on I'd damaged my face," Burgess said.
Asked if he contemplated leaving the field, he said: "We worked for this day from the first of November [last year] so there was no chance of me missing out.
"I'm just really excited for Madge [coach Michael Maguire], I know how hard he works, I'm excited for the team."
Burgess said the doctor had told him the fracture is depressed and will likely need surgery within the next 24 hours.
Asked if the pain had now kicked in with the game over, Burgess simply said "yep".
Of the chance of suffering further – potentially permanent – damage to his face, Burgess said he wasn't really listening to what the doctors had been saying, and his teammates had helped him through the process.
"It's all right [at the moment]... the joy's overriding the pain at the moment," he added.
His captain was more forthcoming over his courageous efforts however.
"This bloke over here broke his face, first tackle of the game and played the whole 80. Inspirational," John Sutton said.