Maguire impressed by young guns
Missing Queensland Origin trio Greg Inglis, Chris McQueen and Ben Te'o, Rabbitohs rookie duo Alex Johnston and Kyle Turner proved the major providers on Friday night as the Rabbitohs dismantled the Tigers 32-10, their fourth straight win in a row.
In an example of how far South Sydney have come since their early season troubles, Johnston and Turner secured doubles for their team as the red and green consolidated their place in the top eight with a bye to come next weekend.
Speaking on behalf of his youngsters, astute Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire was very impressed with how Johnston and Turner performed - especially considering the former was in severe doubt until the warm-up, though it didn't stop him from racing away for a half-field try in the second half.
"[Johnston] actually had a bit of a strain in the quad. That's why he hasn't been playing the past few weeks so it was more getting him through the warm-up and to see him run into that little break and accelerate [and score] was great," Maguire said.
"Alex looked like he was jogging there and that's the way Alex is. He looks like he's running on the spot but he's actually going really quick. It did change the momentum of the game, they obviously had a bit of control there and he turned that around pretty quickly."
Maguire was quick to compliment Turner who has made his coach very happy in recent times with his pure utility value.
"He brings a lot, Kyle, and he keeps going from strength to strength in the team. Wherever you put him he's doing a great job for us," Maguire said.
"He's been in the back row and we put him in the middle but now he's playing in the centres. He showed tonight that he can play in a lot of positions, which is handy for us."
While things are looking dandy down Redfern way, Maguire assured reporters that there was still plenty to work on and that the Rabbitohs were a long way off from where they needed to be.
"Our start probably wasn't where we wanted it, pretty similar to last week, so there are areas of the game we need to focus on and just keep building," Maguire said.
"We're getting better though. You're always looking at your attack. I think in the first 10 minutes we were 50 per cent completion rate but at the back end of that half we got it back up to 80 per cent and that, as we all know, is how you build pressure against teams and if you hang onto the ball we're going to be tough because we're a big team so it's a big part of our game."
With the injury-ravaged Rabbitohs looking towards their first bye of the season and the likes of Joel Reddy, Bryson Goodwin, George Burgess and Kirisome Auva'a all struggling with complaints, the break could not have come quick enough for the club.