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My Commandments: Rabbitohs players lay out their weird and wonderful match day habits

Jayden Collins

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My Commandments: Rabbitohs players lay out their weird and wonderful match day habits

Every player has them. The pre-game commandments they live by.

Those habits, meals, or superstitions that you have to ensure you undertake before a game. 

The Rabbitohs stars are heading into a crucial finals series game against the Sydney Roosters this weekend at Allianz Stadium, and now, more than ever, those commandments are going to be vital. 

It’s do or die, and after defeat to the Roosters last week, the Souths are hoping to turn things around in what will surely be an intense clash.

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They’ll have to be the first team to come from outside the top four in almost 30 years if they are to make it all the way to the Premiership, however, if they follow their commandments anything is possible.

SPORTbible Australia chatted to a few of the South Sydney players about their must-do’s and must-haves before a key game, as well as key mottos they live by. 

Thomas Burgess

Credit: NRL/Supplied.
Credit: NRL/Supplied.
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Growing up in the Burgess family the 30-year-old has picked up a few tricks that have aided him along his career, such as a pre-game dinner that always has him prepped and raring to go. 

Burgess told SPORTbible Australia: “This has become a tradition over 10 to 15 years for the Burgess family - we always cook Spag Bol.

“You have to cook it yourself, that way you know everything that is going into it. I make sure to stew it from midday onwards.”

A homemade Burgess family recipe sounds like a must-have.

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As one of the more experienced members of the team, Burgess understands the importance of comradery in a lead up to a huge game.

He said: “The day of the game I like to go out for breakfast with the boys and have a coffee.

“We meet up somewhere in the Shire and one person shouts each week, and you each take turns shouting the bill - I like doing that.”

As for a commandment he lives by - well he had the king of all leaders in former coach Wayne Bennett to lay down some serious wisdom a few years back.

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Burgess said: “Wayne Bennett was full of quotes, I got plenty from him over the years. He used to have some crackers, I’ve actually got a sheet of them printed out that I keep on my fridge still. 

“A quote I particularly love is ‘A ship that sets sail without a destination is just lost at sea’.

“What that means is basically always have a plan and always have a goal.”

Wayne Bennett the wise ladies and gentlemen.

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Junior Tatola

Credit: NRL/Supplied.
Credit: NRL/Supplied.

The George Piggins Medalist and one of the major shining lights of the Rabbitohs season in that Souths’ front row. 

Despite being incredibly explosive and hard-hitting in the tackle - his main commandment is all about getting some much-needed rest.

He said: “I have to have a nap before the game. Whether it be an early game or a late game I have to at least get an hour in.

“Even for those 3 pm games, I’ll get up a lot earlier so I can get that nap in.”

The naps clearly do the job as he’s quickly become one of the Rabbitohs’ key players this year.

Isaiah Tass

Credit: NRL/Supplied.
Credit: NRL/Supplied.

The young gun has cemented his place in the South Sydney centre’s lineup in the back half of the season after joining the club at the beginning of the year.

Efficient in defence, and nifty with that final pass, there must be a key to Tass’ success over the past season.

For the 23-year-old, his commandments are all about the food. 

He said: “I have to have steak, veggies and pasta the night before - but I like to add in a chocolate milk and snack on a few Sour Patch Kids for a bit of extra luck.

“On the day, I like to have a Kit-Kat with my sandwich to treat myself.”

Tass explains that his meal routine is a ritual in itself.

He added: “The meals are superstitions in themselves, I’ve been doing it for a while and I’m one of those players that I have to keep doing the things that have worked for me. 

“I like trial and error - so if I’ve done something and I have a bad game, I won’t do it again.”

Jai Arrow

Credit: NRL/Supplied.
Credit: NRL/Supplied.

With big-time Origin games under his belt, Jai Arrow is one of the more experienced players in the Rabbitohs’ lineup.

While the second-rower is now at the prime age of 27, he says there’s one habit that he’s had since he was in the under 20s.

He said: “I start to get ready exactly 37 minutes before warmup.

“I’ve got a routine that I go through every week since I was in my teens - and it has to start exactly 37 minutes before warmup.”

As for a motto, the Souths player lives by: “Just keep swimming.”

Dory or Wayne Bennett, not sure who is wiser.

The Rabbitohs go into a must-win game against the Sydney Roosters this Sunday (September 11), at Allianz Stadium.

Featured Image Credit: NRL/Supplied.

Topics: Australia, NRL, Rugby League

Jayden Collins
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