Furious Maguire's forgettable night
You'd be forgiven for thinking Rabbitohs mentor Michael Maguire was going to spontaneously self-combust such was his fury over South Sydney's 47-12 loss to the Broncos on Thursday night.
With a top-four berth on the line the Rabbitohs ultimately left an agitated Maguire with white knuckles and embarrassed by their subpar performance.
Such was the enormity of the loss the fourth-placed South Sydney could now end the weekend in seventh place on the premiership ladder if results don't go their way.
"It was a [forgettable night]. We were poor, simple as that. Our standards dropped at several different periods of the game," Maguire said.
"We didn't show the adversity we know that is within this team and we have to turn it around. Unfortunately we let ourselves down and we let our great fans down and it's not acceptable for this club.
"There was a lot of soft tries. We let ourselves down in that department in a big way. We have shown previously how we can defend but that's definitely not how South Sydney is supposed to defend.
"For us as a group and as a team, well... it's in our hands to turn that around."
While the Rabbitohs' place in the NRL Telstra Premiership finals series is guaranteed, Maguire expects his troops to bounce back against the Roosters next Friday night in the final round of the regular season. The coach remained coy over what was said in the sheds after his team's 35-point shellacking.
"We're playing against another one of the best teams in the competition. We got kicked against Brisbane. And we're hurting but we're playing against a team who has played very well for quite some time," Maguire said.
"I know the capabilities of our team but we have to make sure we find that and we're playing well. We have a bit of a longer turnaround so we'll freshen up and we'll focus on our preparation moving through to next week.
"The only thing which really matters is what we do in those 80 minutes so I guess we'll get to tell the story then."
Meanwhile the Rabbitohs may have to make do without stand-in captain John Sutton for the remainder of the season after he was carried off the field of play in the 50th minute.
"He might have a broken leg," Madge revealed. "But we'll have to get scans on that and wait and see."
South Sydney also face a nervous wait over hooker Issac Luke's fate, with the diminutive rake placed on report for a shoulder charge.
Any citing means Luke will miss at least two games – including week one of the finals – considering he has two non-similar previous charges and 35 carryover points.