State of Origin hopeful Campbell Graham declared on Tuesday that players were behind McDonald.
“All they are are allegations,” Graham said. “There has been nothing that has come out proven.”
When asked how Tom Burgess was coping with the allegations surrounding his brother, Graham said he was doing “great”.
“As far as the squad was concerned we were all pretty locked in on the game,” he said about Sunday’s elimination final. “There was a real key focus on what we needed to do and that was to win and that’s the mindset we’ve got.”
But it was ultimately coach Wayne Bennett and senior players who made sure the side were focused amid the outside noise, Graham said.
“Wayne is always really good at getting you into a good mindset for a game he’s getting us focused on Saturday night,” he said. “Last week was the same as any other week, we knew what we had to do and we went out and did it.”
Cameron Murray said that “no outside influences” affected the club last week ahead of their 46-20 win against the Knights on Sunday night.
Murray said that Adam Reynolds above all carried the team through the club’s troublesome week.
“It’s been big,” he said. “Reyno [Reynolds] stepped up along with Cody Walker and Damien Cook – I think they really stepped up for the majority of this year in what were some pretty big shoes to fill, seeing a lot of our leadership boys leave last year.”
South Sydney come up against the Eels in a do-or-die clash on Saturday.
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Sarah is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.