Bunnies only have themselves to blame
The South Sydney Rabbitohs hierarchy are refusing to blame a critical 12-point turnaround thanks to a dubious forward pass call for a shock 32-20 loss to the Warriors.
While the Warriors proved themselves the better side in a six-tries-to-four win at Perth's new stadium, a denied try to red and green flyer Robert Jennings cost the Bunnies dearly with scores level at 10-all.
Jennings was called back after diving over from a Cody Walker pass that looked line ball at worst just one minute out from halftime, only for Warriors livewire Shaun Johnson to capitalise with the final play of the half and send his own winger David Fusitu'a over in the opposite corner.
From there the Warriors were never headed as they secured their first win in 10 attempts in the Western Australian capital.
But rookie Rabbitohs coach Anthony Seibold rued not the rub of the green, but his side's ability to respond when it didn't go their way.
''[It was] a big turning point. We get a chance to tie it up going into the half-time break,'' Seibold conceded.
''I didn't actually see the try. I was on the way down to the dressing room. It was a big turnaround for us but again we need to be able to handle that.
''A couple of things went against us: the try against us, a couple of penalties but we let them off the hook at their end of the field and we just didn't defend well enough.''
Rabbitohs skipper Greg Inglis, who emerged unscathed from his first competition match since rupturing his ACL in last year's season opener, said his side has remained upbeat despite the swing in momentum.
The surprise result comes after a pre-season featuring plenty of hype around Redfern given Inglis's return, Seibold's new regime and the addition of Kangaroos three-quarter Dane Gagai.
While conceding the Rabbitohs simply weren't good enough on the day, Seibold still found positives in his side's attacking combinations and Gagai's first outing for his new club.
''We made eight line breaks, we just didn't capitalise on those line breaks, whether it was a poor pass or a poor decision on the end of that,'' Seibold said.
''So that gives you plenty of heart … but at the of the day the Warriors ran harder than us and put their bodies in front of more aggressively than us.''
While Inglis saw little ball in his comeback match, Gagai laid on two tries for outside man Richie Kennar as well as making four tackle busts and 126 running metres in a handy Rabbitohs debut.
''Dane's going to be a threat for us,'' Seibold said.
''I thought he showed that against the Dragons in the trial and there were a couple of times where he poked his nose through from an attacking point of view.
''It was his first game with Reyno [halfback Adam Reynolds] so their connection, their combination will only grow, I'm sure of that.''