Souths to do it for Sutto in game 250
South Sydney's most-capped player of all time wants this weekend's focus to be on beating the Cowboys but John Sutton's teammates are desperate to give their mate something to celebrate in his 250th NRL game for the club.
Sutton broke club legend Bob McCarthy's record for appearances in cardinal and myrtle when he played his 212th game for the club back in 2014, but was reluctant to be the focus of this weekend's must-win clash against the Cowboys in Townsville.
"Two-fifty, it's a big achievement for myself but more importantly now we've got to start winning some games and my main focus is getting those two points," Sutton said.
"When I broke the club record a couple of years ago that was a huge achievement, that was a huge night and we got the win that night [at the SCG against old rivals the Dragons] so just looking to play my best football this week."
Sutton – who would have brought up the milestone sooner had he not missed dozens of games through injury over the past few seasons including three months this year due to a pec tear – said he never thought he'd get to 250 games, let alone all at the club where he played all his junior footy.
"One club, it's a bit of a dream come true," Sutton said. "It's a great achievement but I'm just worried about trying to get the two points."
Talismanic lock Sam Burgess was full of praise for the longest-serving Rabbitoh.
"I've known the bloke for six or seven years and not only good friends with him but we've been through a lot on and off the field and I'm just really proud that personally I get to play this day with him," Burgess said.
"I know his family really well and I can only tell you how proud him mum and dad are going to be so I think it's obviously a cracking day and we should all celebrate it.
"It's such a historic club and he's the first player to ever reach 250 which might come as a bit of a shock to some people but if there's anyone to do it first, for John, South Sydney through and through… I think it fits."
Jason Clark said there is no question the players would have some extra incentive in Sutton's milestone game.
"I played in the game where he broke Bob McCarthy's record so that was a good thing to be a part of and to be a part of his 250th is even better," Clark said.
"You have to take it into account [as a player], of course. Sutt's quite a quiet, reserved sort of person so he doesn't like too much limelight but it is a big deal for his family and the club.
"Personally I'll be taking into account that it's a big game for himself and his family so for milestones like that you always want to have a win.
"It will lift us, especially our younger players as well, it will make them lift. We'll touch on it as the week goes on before the game and the players will really realise – we've had blokes just last week who played their first game so for them to understand that John's playing 250 is a big deal."
Burgess agreed that despite how much the team needs the two ladder points, the players would have an additional reason to lift.
"On a day John's celebrating, no-one wants to let him down," Burgess said.
"I think we've been fortunate this year – although we've had an indifferent year with results we've been able to celebrate.
"A lot of players made their debut this year and it's always a special day for those people. Last week we had two or three players make their debut and it's always a special day you never forget.
"This one with John, 250, I'm sure it's a day he'll never forget and it would be nice if we can put a good performance together for him."