Rugby League

Jake Averillo says it would be a ‘disservice’ to the Bulldogs if he felt frustrated about the club trying to lure Penrith’s Matt Burton

Canterbury five-eighth Jake Averillo says it would be a “disservice” to the Bulldogs if he felt frustrated about the club trying to lure Penrith playmaker Matt Burton to Belmore as early as this season to play in his No.6 jumper.

Averillo is the forgotten man in the never-ending contract saga involving Burton, who has signed a lucrative deal with the Bulldogs from 2022.

Since Burton inked the deal in November, Canterbury has been attempting to sign the Panthers young gun to Belmore as soon as this season.

This leaves Canterbury junior Averillo in a difficult position given he recently extended his time at the Bulldogs until the end of season 2023.

Canterbury wants Penrith playmaker Matt Burton in Bulldogs colours as soon as possible, even though Burton’s deal at Belmore officially starts in 2022. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Even Penrith co-captain Nathan Cleary recently declared he “feels sorry” for the rising Bulldogs half.

It would be understood if Averillo felt angered or annoyed about the Burton situation, but he is just focused on performing strongly.

“Nah, it is not something that I think about,” Averillo said when asked about Burton’s pending arrival at Belmore.

“I think that would be a disservice to the team. I’m just focused on doing my job for the team week in and week out.”

Averillo confirmed he saw five-eighth as his long-term position and hoped to let his form do the talking, even when Burton arrives this season or next.

“Yeah (five-eighth), that is where I like to play and I’m really enjoying the opportunity at the moment,” he said.

“I’d just like to keep doing my job for the team and see what happens.”

Canterbury five-eighth Jake Averillo is determined to be positive despite Canterbury’s continued pursuit of Penrith playmaker Matt Burton. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

Canterbury’s new spine of Averillo, Kyle Flanagan, Sione Katoa and Corey Allan is yet to reach its full potential.

Of course, it’s only two rounds into the season but as key players they need to be better.

Averillo is confident the Bulldogs’ spine will find its feet.

“It is definitely coming along,” he said.

“We’ve built a good relationship during the pre-season, but it is just going to take time.

“We can do all the things at training, but in games it is a different beast, but we’ve just got to keep working together and communicating.”

Canterbury missed a whopping 41 tackles in Saturday’s loss to Penrith, but Averillo insists the poor statistic has nothing to do with a lack of intensity, and he is confident that the Bulldogs can record their first win of the 2021 season against the Broncos in Brisbane on Saturday.

“You can’t question our effort – it is always there,” he said.

“It is about being a bit smarter and sticking to our principals that we learn at training.

“I think it is just putting in a full performance for the 80 minutes.

“That second half (against Penrith) we just slaked off a little bit and didn’t build enough pressure.

“We just have to keep building pressure.”

Source: Read Full Article