Rabbitohs fail with second half fundamentals
In the wash-up to their 20-6 loss to the Panthers on Friday night, star Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds said his team left all their big talk in the sheds at half-time, while their coach Michael Maguire said the club simply failed at the fundamentals.
Only down 8-0 at half-time, the Rabbitohs were well and truly in proceedings having completed at 93 per cent (with no errors) despite working in poor territory for the most part in the first stanza.
Come the second 40, they became a shamble. Their completions dropped to 74 per cent while their error count and poor discipline skyrocketed to unacceptable heights.
Their second half woes were compounded by two crucial errors from prop Tom Burgess which proved too much for the reigning premiers, as Penrith captain Peter Wallace capitalised with a try in the 51st minute. From there, the Bunnies simply unravelled.
"We had our chances, mate. Their defence was good though, we're not taking anything away from them, we know we struggled," Reynolds said.
"We were held up over the line three times and a try disallowed there [in the first half] so with a bit of luck, we could've gone into half-time with the lead and we probably needed to carry that attitude about us in the second half.
"In our first set [in the second half] we dropped the ball and put ourselves on the hills and we gave them a leg up down the field a number of times and you just can't do that."
"We've been too up and down and our form has been a bit patchy recently. We really narrowed our focus into having a good performance this week and it just didn't show out there."
Coach Maguire shared his halfback's sentiment, and while he was pleased with his team's resilience, when all was said and done they simply weren't good enough.
"We put a lot of pressure on ourselves, we had to defend for long periods of time and allowed Penrith to attack our line," Maguire said.
"There were a lot of fundamental little things around the game plan which failed us. You have to be able to build pressure by getting down the other end and spend some time down their try-line like they did to us."
In further mixed news for the Rabbitohs, Maguire said prop Dave Tyrrell's concussion wasn't serious however the same cannot be said for stand-in skipper John Sutton's biceps.
Coming off late on in the second half, Sutton himself said it was a matter of waiting to see the extent of damage.
"I just felt something funny go in my biceps," Sutton said. "I'll get some scans done on the weekend and just go from there. It doesn't feel too bad but I'll just have to get scans done first."