GLENN JACKSON August 09, 2012
High standards ... South Sydney's players were disappointed with their display against the Titans, even though they won the game. Photo: Getty Images
SOUTH SYDNEY players used to occasionally be so overcome with the thought of winning a match that they celebrated like they had won a grand final. Now the Rabbitohs are a side capable of winning a premiership, they react differently.
Last Sunday, after a tight away win over the Gold Coast, coach Michael Maguire could see the pleasure of a victory but also the disappointment that the squad had let the Titans back into the game after they had led 22-6 with 10 minutes remaining.
''I wasn't here in the past, so I'm only focused on what we're doing now,'' Maguire said. ''[But] the players know straight away how they performed. I don't need to tell them too much now. They're a good group, I've got a good senior bunch, and they know what they need to do. Our focus is on looking after the ball when we've got it, and making sure we defend the way we're capable of defending.''
After the demoralising defeat in round one to the Roosters, when the Rabbitohs conceded three tries in the final two minutes, the side has learnt to be one of the most consistent outfits over 80 minutes. That's why leading into tomorrow night's clash with premiers Manly, Maguire said he wasn't overly concerned by their late fade against the Titans.
''I think we've shown over the last couple of months - people talk about 80 minutes, but there are two teams, and the Gold Coast are a good team,'' Maguire said. ''They've got a big forward pack, and we knew at some stage that momentum was going to change. We've got to ride through those. We've looked at areas where we know we can improve in both attack and defence. Letting in a couple of tries in there, the boys were very disappointed.
''But we've moved on from the Gold Coast. We've looked at that game, and looked at where we needed to make sure we become a better team. That's our focus.''