Souths fall short in pressure game
The Rabbitohs have found a more enterprising brand of football in recent weeks and while it paid dividends in a big win against Penrith, coach Michael Maguire said it was the basics rather than the adventure that cost them in a 14-12 loss to the Roosters on Friday night.
For the second week running Souths won the offload tally by a wide margin (15-5 on Thursday, 18-4 last week) but unlike the Penrith game, they arguably tried a bit too much before they built a platform first.
"We probably didn't put enough pressure on the opposition at the start of the game and that's one area we discussed," Maguire said after the game.
"We've just got to build pressure through our sets and I thought we had periods of the game where we did that. A little bit through our handling errors, ill-discipline, those sorts of things [cost us].
"Fundamental ones around the play the ball. That's not chancing your arm, just individuals making sure you're doing your job at that moment in time."
Maguire was happy with the level of effort put in but regretted that his side wasn't clinical enough in key moments.
They finished just marginally on the wrong side of a 10-9 error count and 8-7 penalty count while missing fewer tackles (38-28) but failed to win a few key moments.
"The score line was very tight and we didn't take the chances when we had them and didn't do a few of the things that we set out to do and that cost us at the back end of the game," Maguire said.
"It was obviously nice to get a performance like that [last week against Penrith] and we obviously set out to do that again tonight but again the pressure, it's all about the pressure game and gaining momentum."
He was mostly happy with the discipline in a scoreless opening 20 minutes of the match.
"The start of the game was a fairly good arm-wrestle there, both teams were going set for set and we gave a penalty away and ended up kicking it dead and then we were back down on our try-line," he said.
"They're the areas of the game where you've just got to be spot on when you're playing in the game now, it's all about pressure and momentum."