No headache at hooker for Maguire

South Sydney Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire insists there is no selection headache when it comes to who will start at hooker, after both Robbie Farah and Damien Cook starred in the Bunnies' comprehensive win over the Dragons in the Charity Shield on Sunday. 

When asked if the performances of both players made his job any harder, Maguire was quick to answer no before admitting it was something he and the coaching staff around him would need to figure out.   

"It's not a headache," Maguire said after the win.  

"It's probably game-by-game at the moment and at the end of the day, I think it's going to be a learning curve for all of us.

"They're very open those two (Farah and Cook) and we've had great discussions about how we want to do it. 

"It's just a matter of time how it works moving forward.

"He's quick, Cookie, he's a talent and that's obviously why I wanted to keep him. He can play a number of positions for us as well.

"Obviously Robbie's got experience and he's been doing for a long time but Cookie's growing every day. I see him at training and obviously out there today he performed very well so some good decisions moving forward."

 


Farah scored the opening try of the game before coming off at half-time, allowing Cook to play out the second half and set up a scintillating try for young rookie Braidon Burns. 

The former Wests Tigers rake came back on with 13 minutes to go at five-eighth, with both he and Cook linking with halfback Adam Reynolds to finish off the lacklustre Dragons outfit. 

Maguire gave every indication that playing both Farah and Cook at the same time was a genuine possibility heading into the season, particularly with the need for speed around the ruck in the latter stages of a match. 

"We had both Robbie and Cookie out there in the middle and having the speed at the back end of the halves can be very useful," he said.

"There's obviously opportunities at the back end of halves when your team puts a lot of pressure on the opposition and the game is getting closer and closer with the arm wrestle.

"It comes down to those little players coming on and being able to pull apart the middle of a field. 

"Both of those boys contributed so it's a great place to be."

After strong performances all across the board including from five-eighth Cody Walker, who continued where he left off after a stunning debut season in 2016, Maguire was happy with the result leading into the opening round of the season against Wests Tigers in a fortnight.    

"Over the last two-three months they've produced a lot of that out in the [training] field and been very thorough in their preparation at this point," he said.

"There's a lot we will take out of that game and dissect but I think the way the boys carried themselves and their fitness levels, I was pleased."