Sam Burgess has a history of targeting his star opposite. Picture: Brett Costello
Sam Burgess has a history of targeting his star opposite. Picture: Brett Costello

Slammin’ Sam to give Taumalolo SBW treatment

Sam Burgess says there is no player anywhere in the NRL who, consistently, proves more lethal than North Queensland powerhouse Jason Taumalolo.

"That's his trademark," Burgess insists. "And he's extremely destructive in that respect."

Which just quietly, we reckon means fireworks.

Specifically, a heavyweight showdown between Slammin' Sam and Taumalolo at Suncorp Stadium this afternoon.

And for proof, look back to the 2013 NRL season opener - when all of League Land was breathlessly talking up the return of Sonny Bill Williams.

A crazy time when SBW was across every backpage.

On Sonny Cam, too.

Fox Sports even taking us inside Williams' head - or at least overlaying some previously recorded thoughts - as that returning Rooster warmed up for what would be his first NRL appearance in over five years.

And then … well, a whistle blew and Slammin' Sam steamed straight over the top of him.

Kaboom.

Just as when his great mate James Graham arrived to the NRL a year earlier, the South Sydney enforcer went at him like Taz from Looney Tunes.

For this is what makes Burgess so bloody outstanding.

His unending need to hunt down the greatest forwards on the planet, then attempt to take their souls.

Which is exactly what we put to the Englishman when he arrived at Brisbane airport earlier this week for Sunday's blockbuster showdown with North Queensland - and, more specifically, Taumalolo - in Magic Round.

Asked about the Cowboys No. 13, Burgess said: "There isn't another player in the game that can do what he does so consistently.

 

Burges took on Sonny Bill Williams in their heated clashes. Picture: Brett Costello
Burges took on Sonny Bill Williams in their heated clashes. Picture: Brett Costello
 

 

"You might see players do it once every now and again.

"But what Jase produces consistently is what makes him so special.

"And he's built up to that level.

"I remember when he first came into grade, he's had to learn how to play longer minutes.

"And now, as I said, it's what he does every game, every week that makes him so great."

At which point we mentioned his own history with the likes of both Williams and Graham - and how it all pointed to Burgess now wanting to take Taumalolo down.

"Ah, it's a bit different," the Rabbitohs backrower suggested.

Tongan wrecking ball Jason Taumalolo is a key target for Sam Burgess. Picture: Evan Morgan
Tongan wrecking ball Jason Taumalolo is a key target for Sam Burgess. Picture: Evan Morgan

OK, how?

"Well, what can you really do these days?" he shrugged. "You can't fly out of the line and hit someone. You can't take them on like that anymore.

"So I'll tackle him, he'll tackle me.

"That's it."

But still, you reeeeally enjoy these battles, right?

"I'm pretty sure Jase does too," Burgess said.

And, finally, as for what the Englishman sees of Taumalolo up close, that the rest of us may miss from the grandstand?

"(With) Jase, it is what you see," Burgess said. "Which isn't being disrespectful, I'm just responding honestly to the question you've asked.

"He's a fantastic ball carrier.

"Extremely destructive in that respect.

"And that's his trademark, his strength with the ball.

"With it, he can turn a game on its head.

"And that's what you've got to be wary of too, his moments of brilliance.

"He does his role to a level that sets him apart from everyone else."

News Corp Australia


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