Brett Stewart says there is no point complaining over the short turnarounds facing the Sea Eagles as the team prepares for its third game in 10 days.
Following victories over Cronulla (last Monday) and the Sydney Roosters on Saturday night, the Sea Eagles now have little time to prepare for Thursday night’s clash against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Brookvale Oval.
“It is not ideal. Every team has to put up with it at some stage. All we can do is prepare the best we can and get ready for each game as they come,’’ Stewart said this morning.
“We’ve got plenty of massages, a bit of down time, and a lot of swimming. That’s the best way we prepare and I think most other teams are pretty similar.”
When asked if the players were feeling fatigued after the tough win over the Roosters, Stewart said it was a pretty ‘fair judgement’.
“Like I said, it is not ideal but you just have to get on with things. We can’t whinge too much about it I suppose. If they (television broadcasters) want to pay the money, we have to play when we are scheduled.”
Stewart said his forwards face another quality test on Thursday night against a South Sydney pack, irrespective of whether Sam Burgess returns from concussion.
“Whether he plays or not, it is going to be a battle up front like it always is against Souths. They have got a very big pack and our blokes are going to have to match it with them,’’ he said.
“Every week is a good test for our pack. We have got a bit of size this year. You look at young Jake (Trbojevic) there. He might not be the biggest bloke but he has got the biggest heart. When you see blokes like that, it is good to get behind them.”
Stewart said five-eighth Dylan Walker may also step up as the main ball player following the loss of half-back Daly Cherry-Evans with an ankle injury.
“I think ‘Walks’ might embrace it and take more ownership of the ball hopefully,’’ Stewart said.
“Everyone can see he is a natural runner with the ball and the more he touches it, the more strike power we seem to have right across the board.
“Whoever steps in for ‘Chez’ have to buy into what we are trying to build here and just get on the back of the momentum we are trying to start.
“The first two wins weren’t perfect for us. The combinations are going to take a little bit of time. We have a new hooker, a new half, and we probably won’t hit our straps to mid-year.
“We still need to be patient and probably not get ahead of ourselves too much.”
As to how the 31-year-old is feeling himself after just two games back from a hamstring strain, Stewart said he was taking it one game at a time.
“I probably shouldn’t have played last week’s game (against Cronulla) but obviously getting through that game gave me a world of confidence. I will be just looking to go week by week and build on every game,’’ Stewart said.
“My body is good. It was just a small little hiccup with the trial with the strained hamstring. Other than that, the body is feeling great.”
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