South Sydney enforcer Sam Burgess is confident he’s controlling his temper better as he zeroes in on ending the Rabbitohs’ five-decade long premiership drought in his final NRL season.
Burgess was targeted early in the season by opposition sides who succeeded in unsettling the England international, paving the way to wins over Souths.
Manly prop Jason King and Wests Tigers representative front-rower Aaron Woods were two players who managed to get under Burgess’ skin with aggressive tactics.
Since then the Souths forward has managed to keep his emotions in check.
And the Rabbitohs have won six of their last seven games to climb to third on the NRL ladder, with Burgess one of the form players of the competition.
“You are always going to have your critics, I don’t really read in to too much of what is said, me and my teammates know what sort of a person and player I am,” Burgess said.
“I am always trying to work on things and there were times when (my temper) used to boil over, but I have started to control that and channel it a little bit better so I am happy with that.”
Burgess said a balanced approach to life was helping.
“There is a bit more control in my game, I probably have a clearer mind on things, I am just enjoying it.
“I have a good balance with things I am doing away from the field.
“It is pretty simple for me, working hard every day at training and spending a lot of time with family.”
The Rabbitohs, who haven’t claimed the first grade title since 1971, have 10 games left in the regular season ahead of a likely third successive final series.
Burgess heads to English rugby union at season’s end and said he was intent on making the most of his dwindling days at Redfern.
“It is a little bit of realisation,” he said.
“I am just trying to enjoy every moment and get everything out of the year that I can.
“Trying to get as much out of myself performance-wise and searching every avenue to improve, to get better individually and within the team.”
Souths have a round 15 post-State of Origin bye this weekend ahead of a round 16 match-up with North Queensland in Townsville.