Bunnies boiled by same old problem
Greg Inglis reacts following the round 1 NRL match. AAP Image/Action Photographics, Colin Whelan
It may be a new start for South Sydney under Michael McGuire, but last night the Rabbitohs once again managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. A culture change takes time.
McGuire has an almighty task ahead.
Souths led by eight points with just two and a half minutes to go, but somehow lost 24 – 20 to the Roosters.
The winning try from Anthony Minichiello came off a grubber from Roosters second rower Boyd Cordner.
Salt meet wound. This will sting the club and its fans.
McGuire has spent the off-season flogging his troops into shape, pleading with them to be mentally strong when the tough moments arrive.
Last night, the first of those moments confronted them and his men folded.
One try in two and a half minutes can be forgiven.
Two tries in quick succession is a sign of a side that still doesn’t know how to finish the job.
McGuire was trying to search for positives after the match and they weren’t hard to find.
Sam Burgess battled like a gladiator and young halfback Adam Reynolds was composed without being spectacular.
Perhaps the biggest compliment came from a former international who told this columnist that Souths defended like Melbourne for 60 minutes of the match.
They’ll need to imitate them for a little longer this weekend. The Storm awaits at AAMI Park on Sunday night.
Progress will be slow. Understanding the art of winning and the hard work that accompanies it will take time.
When it eventually clicks, South Sydney could rise from its slumber.
There has been many a false dawn, but McGuire could be the man to help break down that final mental barrier.
You can follow Luke Doherty on Twitter @Luke_Doherty and on Sky News Australia.