Jensen faces Burgess boys
HE has a reputation as one of the strongest players on the Cowboys roster, but young prop Corey Jensen knows he’ll have to muscle up to match it with Souths superstar Sam Burgess in Cairns this weekend.
North Queensland’s forward depth is set to be tested on a hot Sunday afternoon at Barlow Park with Gavin Cooper and Coen Hess both backing up from Origin, leaving it to players like Jensen to provide more impact off the bench.
It presents a golden opportunity for Souths to ambush the Cowboys with no players involved in the interstate showdown and an already imposing forward pack led by the English- born siblings Sam, Tom, and George Burgess.
Jensen gives away about 10cm and 10kg to the Burgess brothers, but the Cowboys tyro said he was ready to rip in against the pack which he considers the NRL’s benchmark.
“It’s going to be a massive test. I had a chance to play a few of them in the Nines, and although it was a different concept, they’re still the same- sized players,” he said.
“I think George played over there and they’re massive humans. For a young guy like me, it’ll definitely be a huge test to come up against some of the benchmark forwards in the comp.”
Souths captain Sam Burgess leads the way for run metres, tackles, and offloads in what has been an inconsistent season for the Bunnies and looks to be the man to ignite their flickering finals hopes.
It’s as simple as when the big English forward fires so do the Rabbitohs and Jensen said it was crucial the Cowboys don’t give Burgess the chance to build any momentum.
“Sam’s a massive part of their team. You watch him week- in, week- out and if he’s on then the Rabbitohs are on,” Jensen said.
“I think you’ve just got to get up on them fast. You can’t let them get too much momentum. They’re big lads so the more speed they get, the harder they are to stop.
“Line speed’s going to be a massive priority for us and to get up and shut them down and play quick around them because as bigger guys, they might not be able to move as well.
“One of our responsibilities will be stopping his ( Sam’s) go forward and targeting him more in defence, but in saying that we’ve just got to concentrate on us.
“We know if we get our game right then the rest will take care of itself.”
Jensen will have fresh legs for the Rabbitohs clash after last weekend’s bye and he said the break was just what the Cowboys needed as they target a top- four finish.
“I actually went back to Bowen for a couple of days and did a bit of fishing and saw my folks. I hadn’t seen them for a while so it was nice,” Jensen said.
“It was good physically and mentally to have a bit of a break, but we’re back into training now for the rest of the year so we’ve got to start ripping in.”