Souths coach Michael Maguire is happy with the progress of John Sutton since his shift into the back row. Copyright: Grant Trouville/NRL Photos.

Maguire wary of fast-start Tigers

Despite a reasonable 1-1 start to the 2014 season South Sydney coach Michael Maguire is adamant his side needs to improve over the coming weeks if they are to entrench themselves in the top four on the competition ladder.

And he admitted to being wary of this Friday's opponent the Wests Tigers who he noted had proven exceptionally fast starters in each of their games to date. 

Maguire stressed that his troops needed to build on their Round 1 blitzing of last year's premiers the Sydney Roosters and move past their 14-12 loss to the Sea Eagles in Gosford last Friday night. 

"I think every game's a tough game in the NRL. If you're slightly off – with just some of the results you see across the games already – you can get burnt," Maguire told NRL.com on Wednesday.

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"For us it's just about finding what we did in Round 1 consistently and I was really pleased with that Round 1 performance. Unfortunately we didn't do that against Manly but we just got to keep working towards that.

"Full credit to Manly, they came out and performed. We learnt a lot from that game and comparing that to our first round we had a fair few lessons."

With the Rabbitohs coming up against the Wests Tigers this week, Maguire had nothing but praise for his opponents off the back of the Tigers' 42-12 win over the Titans last weekend. 

"I think [the Tigers] are actually a really improved team – I think the way they played on the weekend they start very, very fast. Two weeks in a row they've now scored two or three tries within 10 minutes so we need to be right on our own game to start with," Maguire said.

"Our defence needs to be spot-on this week. They do throw a lot of passes around and a lot of plays at you. Even coming out of yardage they will shift the ball and they get into shape very early so you need to be aware of what's going on."

As for the shift of captain John Sutton to the back row, Maguire said he was happy with the work in progress.

"It's going to take a bit of time in getting the understanding of how you play in the middle – I always have the ability to be able to put him back in the halves if need be so we can utilise that as well," he said.

With Beau Champion dropping back to the NSW Cup, Maguire is excited for veteran Joel Reddy who will play his first game for the Rabbitohs this weekend against his former club.

"'Beauy' himself admitted probably that it wasn't one of his best games [against Manly]. He's spent a lot of time unfortunately last year and through the pre-season with injuries and it's just about game time now and if he goes back and performs he'll get another opportunity," Maguire said.

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