Fiercely competitive South Sydney NRL forward Sam Burgess has made a spirited defence of his reputation, declaring he isn't a "grubby player."
The powerful British lock had been in the headlines for the wrong reasons in the week leading up to Friday night's 20-10 qualifying final win over Melbourne.
He copped criticism for a couple of undisciplined acts in the Rabbitohs' last-round loss to the Sydney Roosters.
The last time Burgess faced the Storm prior to Friday night, he ended up getting a two-match ban for gripping Will Chambers's testicles.
There was no red mist moments for Burgess against the Storm on Friday, as he channelled his aggression in more legitimate and effective fashion.
He amassed the most run metres of any Souths player and ensured people left the ground talking about him for the right reasons.
"I know there's been a lot of talk going on, but personally I've just tried to ignore it and get out and there and play my game," Burgess said.
"I don't think I'm a grubby player, I know there's been a lot said and a few things probably don't look great.
"But I've just got to concentrate on doing my job for the team."
He could see the funny side of some of the barbs.
"I didn't read much about it, there was a bit of banter thrown at me on Twitter," Burgess said.
"But it's all good fun and it's to be expected.
"We're in the spotlight and it comes with the territory, I guess."
The win over Melbourne lifted Souths to within a game of the grand final for the second straight year.
However, neither Burgess nor any other Rabbitoh displayed any excitement at the prospect and all of them refused to look beyond their next match.
The barnstorming forward was appreciative of the continued support of Souths owner and famed actor Russell Crowe.
"He's done a lot for this club and certainly deserves everything that the club has given him back," Burgess said of Crowe.
"Rusty's great. He understands what players go through, he understands the hard work the players put in throughout the year.
"He's very supportive of the guys and he's great to have around the place."
While Souths have earned a week off, Melbourne face the winner of Sunday's Canterbury-Newcastle elimination final in a sudden-death semi-final next weekend.