South Sydney enforcer Tom Burgess is confident Saturday's shock loss to the Wests Tigers isn't the start of a form slump leading into the Telstra Premiership finals.
The Rabbitohs' run of a record-breaking nine straight victories ended in disappointing fashion as the club celebrated John Sutton's 300th game milestone.
NRL Stats compiled the strength of all 16 teams' draw in the run home to the final with the Bunnies facing Parramatta this weekend, before clashes against defending premiers Melbourne and arch-rivals the Sydney Roosters.
Burgess was asked on Monday whether it was the right time to suffer a defeat, given Anthony Siebold's men had not lost a game since April.
"Yeah, I mean outside looking in people might say that, but you never want a loss," Burgess said.
"But they do come in the season, you've got to be realistic. Now we've got to re-group and learn from it. Turn our loss into lessons."
Burgess admitted a narrow victory over the Cowboys and an inconsistent but successful performance against the Bulldogs may have provided a false sense of confidence.
"We've been honest with ourselves, the last couple of weeks we probably haven't been at our best, even the last time we played Parramatta," he said.
"We need to make sure we are working for each other and the results will come.
"Hopefully there's not too many people not smiling, we are still working hard for each other. I'm sure we'll put things right against the Eels this week."
After winning a premiership as a rookie in the NRL, Burgess feels his maturity has grown to handle the occasion as a senior leader at the club ahead of the crunch period of the year.
But he insisted any comparisons to the successful 2014 side are premature.
"I don't know really, I missed a fair bit of that season," Burgess said.
"I was young, only 22, I'm a few years older now personally. I feel smarter and better as a player. If that goes for the rest of the team we probably are. We were young and raring to go, just like we are now.
"There's been no talk as a team about the ladder, we all know it's very tight, there's no getting away from that. We'll let that take care of itself. You've always got to be confident and thinking you're going to get a win."