Worrying signs for Rabbitohs ahead of heavyweight bout with Storm
South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold hopes the challenge of facing heavyweights Melbourne next week will spark his side after they rallied late to beat the lowly Eels 26-20 in a lacklustre performance at ANZ Stadium.
Siebold and Rabbitohs skipper Sam Burgess were far from impressed with the Bunnies' display against Parramatta but the result has kept them in contention to finish in the top four.
But their next task against the Storm, who romped to a 64-6 victory in Melbourne last year, begins a tough month for Seibold's men.
The Rabbitohs will host Melbourne before clashes with the Roosters, Broncos and Raiders over the next three weeks.
"There's no bigger test than the premiers and the Storm's on top of the table at the moment," Seibold said.
"If you look at the last 3-4 years they've been that consistent. It's probably a test we need - we need to see where we're at.
"The boys will get a good opportunity to test themselves next Friday night. If we complete at 60 per cent and don't get too much footy in the first half they'll put a cricket score on. That's the reality. We need to find some improvements."
Seibold admitted the less said about the Rabbitohs' late finish to overcome Parramatta the better in a game of two halves.
"The game was possession-based, Parra had 70 per cent of possession and scored three tries," he said.
"It flipped on it's head in the second half and we scored 20 points. That was the game.
"It was really important for us to play much better in the second half. I think we were focused still at half-time about what we needed to do to give ourselves a chance but we need to be much better.
"I was confident we could get some possession and build a bit of pressure, we were fortunate with the Jarryd Hayne intercept so we're not going to kid ourselves about the second half either."
Burgess came up with an inspirational play following an Eels penalty goal to force the ball loose from Eels forward Peni Terepo.
The Bunnies got on a roll for the remainder of the game.
"Sometimes it's frustrating when you're on the back of a lot of penalties," Burgess said.
"I didn't think we were that bad. To put it in context, in the first half we defended a lot. We put ourselves under pressure.
"Tonight's performance was not good enough at the top end. The first half was not good enough. I think if we look at our performance as a whole we've got to be playing a bit better. We can all improve in some areas.
"We've got to tidy that up. If we do that to the Storm in the first half I don't think we'll get that much of a chance in the second."