Souths win trial as Ross returns to action - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Souths win trial as Ross returns to action

05/02/2011 09:59:30 PM Comments (0)

Ben Ross made a successful return to rugby league after almost two years and English player George Burgess endured a boiling initiation in South Sydney's 10-4 trial win over Newtown at Redfern Oval on Saturday.

Queensland Origin prop Ross, out of action for almost two years after suffering a broken neck playing for Cronulla in the opening round of the 2009 NRL competition, logged around 45 minutes in two separate stints.

Fellow prop Burgess, the 18-year-old younger brother of Souths and Great Britain forward Sam Burgess, got through around 55 minutes in two shifts in a match that started in hellish 41 degree heat.

Ross got into the action straight away, hitting the ball up from the kick-off.

"That was the plan. We aimed to get the kick-off and we knew they would kick to my side, who wouldn't?" Ross told reporters.

"They said to me run at the first guy you see, don't worry about stepping, just run at the biggest guy and test it out.

"That's what I did. He put a massive shoulder on me and it was `welcome back', it was good.

"I was happy with all the time I got, it was enjoyable."

Ross gave Burgess a huge compliment, saying the Englishman's performance was "astonishing" for an 18-year-old.

Souths coach John Lang was just as pleased.

"The game did what we wanted it to do, get Benny (Ross) back in and gave young George (Burgess) his first run with the boys," he told reporters.

"I thought for his (Ross') first gallop, he did pretty well. It will take a while to get his timing, but I thought it was a good hit-out.

"It was a good step for George to get out and play with those boys, he's never played with any of them before, to play in those conditions, it was tough conditions for your first game."

Burgess, who came off in the final quarter after suffering cramp, couldn't recall ever playing in conditions hotter than 20 degrees.

"It was a big shock," Burgess told reporters.

It was a typical trial with numerous mistakes.

Souths dominated territorially and had two tries disallowed in the second quarter and bombed a number of others with poor execution.

Winger Chris McQueen, who was returning from two knee reconstructions, scored the Rabbitohs' first try, with replacement James Roberts getting their second to set up a 10-0 halftime lead.

Both teams made plenty of changes with Newtown scoring a try through back Sione Taka, notching a try for the NSW Cup side in the third quarter.

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