Rabbitohs v Tigers: Five key points
The Wests Tigers snapped a six-game losing streak following their 30-22 win over the Rabbitohs on Thursday night, but it came with James Tedesco's failure to finish the game. South Sydney have problems of their own after a winless month of footy.
Tigers' 62-point turnaround
Five days prior to their eight-point win over Souths, the Tigers were soundly beaten by the Raiders 60-6.
Remarkably they were able to turn it around against an equally desperate South Sydney team where they raced out to a 20-0 lead in as many minutes.
The Tigers' "pride in performance" was the simple difference between drinks according to coach Jason Taylor
"You don't get to this level if you're not passionate about doing well and succeeding. You don't become an NRL player if you haven't got pride in your performance and a desire and a passion to win," Taylor said.
"We didn't have to work too hard this week to get that out of the guys. We just had to get them together and keep them positive which was great."
Taylor was none the wiser over the extent of Tedesco's injured shoulder but the Tigers certainly had to hang tough without him in the second half.
The prospective Origin fullback was everywhere in the first 40 – where he scored one try and set up another in quick succession – and his absence was felt in the second stanza.
"We're not exactly sure what it is and how bad it is," Taylor said.
Not only a blow for the Tigers, Tedesco's injury could have negative implications for both City Origin and New South Wales in the coming weeks.
Rabbitohs, we have a problem
Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire could hardly comprehend his team's performance in the aftermath, following their fourth-consecutive defeat.
Maguire questioned his players' attitudes and desire while skipper Greg Inglis said the Tigers' huge early lead should never have happened.
While the Rabbitohs pegged back the scoreline to 20-18 it was too little too late by game's end.
"We shouldn't have been in that situation in the first place," Inglis said.
"Attitude is a big thing. We can't be dipping the toe in and then try and play catch up footy."
Halved halves work well for Tigers
The Tigers have only won three games this year. Two of them have come when they were without one of their two usual halves Mitch Moses and Luke Brooks.
Moses was ruled out 10 seconds prior to the Tigers running out on to ANZ Stadium after injuring his quad during the warm-up.
It left Brooks to do all the heavy lifting alongside makeshift playmaker Chris Lawrence – where the young halfback finished the game with a try and two try assists.
Brooks was suspended in Round 1, a weekend where Moses starred in the Tigers' win over the Warriors.
Taylor said his halves starring without the other had been discussed in the coach's box immediately after the game.
"They do share [a playmakers] role a lot so it's something we'll continue to explore and see how we can improve things in that regard. It's pretty clear that they both played well [alone] but that's just development I think," Taylor said.
"They both owned their respective games. Brooksy really took over [against Souths]. His defence too was absolutely superb."
Busted Burgess back to barnstorming best
Can things get any worse for South Sydney? Probably. If Sam Burgess leaving the stadium in a moonboot is any indication.
Burgess was injured in the lead-up to Dane Nielsen's 49th minute try and tried to continue playing for the next 14 minutes before succumbing to the ankle injury.
"His ankle is quite stable from what the doctors have told me but we'll have to have some scans and have a look and go through the process there," Maguire said.
Burgess – alongside fellow forward Nathan Brown – have been the Rabbitohs' best in recent weeks.
In another indication that his year away from the NRL has not wearied him, Burgess racked up 171 metres and 33 tackles against the Tigers.