Rabbitohs keen to arrest slow starts
They might have pulled a rabbit out of the hat in Round 2 with a come-from-behind victory over Manly, but South Sydney players know they'll need a much-improved start this weekend if they want to defeat the Newcastle Knights.
The Rabbitohs conceded three tries in the opening 12 minutes against the Sea Eagles but managed to turn it around to secure a morale-boosting win on the road.
It followed their slow start in Round 1 against the Wests Tigers where they scored first but then conceded three tries in a 12-minute burst to put themselves in a position they simply couldn't recover from.
Halfback Adam Reynolds – who made an earlier than expected return from appendicitis for last week's game – admitted his side's starts weren't good enough.
"Our energy wasn't where it needed to be. Simple things like we didn't control the ball well or we were a bit loose in defence and one thing leads to another," Reynolds said.
"Three tries in 10 minutes is obviously not a good start. We addressed it pretty early and I thought the comradery amongst the group was good to bring it back, but we shouldn't have been in that position from the start."
They'll need to arrest their slow starts against a fired-up Newcastle side coming off their first win since Round 6, 2016.
The Knights have scored the opening try in each of their two matches this season and Reynolds knows they are far from the easy-beats that managed just one win last year.
"I wouldn't say all the pressure's off," Reynolds said. "We've got standards and we haven't lived by them in the first two weeks. If you want to be successful in this competition then you've got to turn up every week at your best to perform.
"Luckily enough we got away with a win last week, but Newcastle played very well in Round 2 and they showed what they can in Round 1 when they were close to getting a victory. We've definitely got to prepare well and come ready to play.
"They're a passionate group of young players and they definitely showed last week what they're capable of. For us, it's about making sure we're performing at training and making sure we turn up with the right attitude."
Rabbitohs hooker Robbie Farah said it was no surprise to see the Knights on the improve, telling media the signs were there in the pre-season when they thrashed the Raiders in a trial game.
"We've watched some footage of them and they've been really impressive, to be honest," Farah said.
"On the back of that trial win against Canberra [which finished] 44-0, they were unlucky against New Zealand and then to come up with a really good win last week at home, they'll be full of confidence on the back that win.
"They've got a bunch of players there that are really ripping in for each other so we're going to be facing a very committed team this week."