Sam Burgess on the Matty Johns Podcast

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Sam Burgess on the Matty Johns Podcast Empty Sam Burgess on the Matty Johns Podcast

Post by Rugby Fan on Fri 28 Jun 2019, 12:22 am

https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nrl-premiership/teams/rabbitohs/sam-burgess-threw-away-his-sim-card-to-avoid-australias-blame-culture-in-the-2013-world-cup/news-story/7ccf68f1a9c7a6747247edc9e2463b67

It's another hour-long listen, which may not be for everyone. I kept getting distracted by the occasional Australian inflexion in Sam's voice.

He talks about his time in union in part of the interview. He says he had wanted to try the other code, and had a bad year in league, with the Rabbitohs missing out on the title, after a surprise loss to Manly in the play-offs. The mood in the team turned sour, so he decided to tell them he'd be making a move at the end of the following season.

He remembers the press coverage when he first arrived being generally quite good. There were some old union pros who said he'd never make the switch but he had expected that. It was a hard switch. He recalls playing second team rugby for Bath and being heckled by a guy in the crowd, who was one of the few people watching. Burgess reckons it took him 10 games to have any idea what was going on.

The big change for him was moving to flanker. He was making tackles, and getting involved with lineouts and scrums, so he could finally see properly what was going on. He also struck up a friendship with Francois Louw, who liked a beer and a steak, and Louw was very generous with his time teaching Burgess some tricks of the trade. He started to enjoy the game more.

Matty Johns stepped in to say he thinks League players underestimate how technical union is. When you watch a game of League you can easily see what skills players need, but not so in union. Burgess agreed, though it sounded a bit like Johns had thought about the differences more than Sam.

Johns wondered whether Burgess had been made a scapegoat for England's failure, and Sam agreed some had thought that. However, he also noted the press also looked at his actual tournament performances, and conceded that he hadn't let anyone down. He does say some players in the England camp seemed too selfish and too self-important, which didn't seem healthy. I think he also suggested some of these players were ignoring the coaches.

I remember him hinting as much when Rob Andrew's book came out, and dragged him back into the debate. James Haskell says he knows what Burgess was likely referring to but it'll remain a mystery for the rest of us, until someone retires and spills the beans.

On leaving union, Burgess says he had planned to carry on, to prove doubters wrong but then decided it was the wrong reason to continue. Playing centre, he found the lack of involvement in games frustrating. He also remembers being on the bench watching the England Australia World Cup match. When England went down 20-3, Burgess suddenly realised he wasn't upset enough. Not that he was smugly happy but more that he didn't feel as engaged as he thought he should, and that's a time he looks back on as a sign he needed to go back to League.

It took him a while to find his feet in League again. The game had moved on; Burgess hadn't had a proper break, and also had the wrong kind of fitness. The Rabbitohs are more competitive this year, and England have a good League side, so the main international aim is now the World Cup in 2021, when Burgess will be 32.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 28 Jun 2019, 8:46 am

Really could have been a top quality 6. Wasted at centre.

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Post by bluestonevedder on Fri 28 Jun 2019, 10:59 am

Definitely could have been a quality 6. I'll always remember how England's game went to poo as soon as Burgess was removed. Think what you want about him, but he performed well that WC.

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Post by ebop on Fri 28 Jun 2019, 2:24 pm

Yeah Sam didn’t let anyone down. He’s a great athlete and competitor and pushes the boundary but some of his league style antics could have been a liability in the long run. Good player but not a big loss to the game. Just a guy that had a dabble.
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Post by robbo277 on Mon 01 Jul 2019, 12:08 am

We were 25-18 up when he went off and we lost the last 10 minutes 10-0. There were other factors, but the games weren’t lost with Sam on the pitch.

If his selection for other players’ backs up, then the fault is with those players.

Ultimately he was fast tracked for what he could have been and not what he was. But he didn’t let anyone down in the games he played. It looked like he ran from union but his comments there about how he discovered he didn’t care are fair enough. You can’t force these things and if his heart wasn’t in getting back to Bath and knuckling down in Union he’d have been silly to waste another year of what is a short career trying to make it work.

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Post by quinsforever on Tue 02 Jul 2019, 10:18 pm

if silly stu lancaster hadnt pulled Sam Burgess off, i am pretty sure england would have won their game against Wales, and then who knows what might have happened to big Sam.

Sam had knocked Jamie Roberts backward in every tackle. Once Sam left the pitch, Wales got go forward ball from Roberts every time, and easily won the match.

Stu Lancaster was made a b*tch by the media who made him pre-announce his strategy (like taking Sam off after 60 to give Ford a chance at 10).

if Lancaster hadnt been so inept, i wouldnt be at all surprised if Sam Burgess were still playing union

and england would have at least made it out of their group in a home world cup

FFS

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Post by Cyril on Tue 02 Jul 2019, 11:39 pm

I think a bit too much is made of Burgess in that RWC. England got a lot wrong in those games (and before) to make it a successful campaign.

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Post by quinsforever on Wed 03 Jul 2019, 9:56 pm

never said England would have won the cup. agree we were too callow for that.

but if Lancaster hadnt been such a chump with his pre-announced changes, i reckon Sam might have stayed in Union

contrast that with the ruthless Eddie Jones (who defo has his minuses), but if he sees something working, or not working, as the game goes on, he reacts.

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