Coach Jason Demetriou of the Rabbitohs has laid down a gauntlet for his squad after an underwhelming defeat at the hands of the Sharks on Saturday evening. Demetriou declared, “A quick decision needs to be made by the players concerning what the season represents to us.” He highlighted that despite adequate verbal commitment, their performance on the field lacked consistency.
He added, “It’s time for all of us to face the truth, the team, the staff, and strive for rectification beginning from the subsequent week.” After Round 11, the Rabbitohs were soaring high on the NRL ladder. However, a subsequent injury to star fullback Latrell Mitchell resulted in a decline in the team’s position.
The Eels‘ anticipated triumph over the Dragons on Sunday afternoon could potentially push them out of the top eight. This would necessitate a winning streak in their remaining matches against the Dragons, Knights, and Roosters to secure a spot in the finals.
The Rabbitohs entered the face-off with the Sharks as the probable winners, but couldn’t match up, trailing 26-0 after 60 minutes. Though the team pulled together in the culminating 15 minutes, it wasn’t enough to make up for an evening riddled with errors, which resulted in a 26-16 defeat.
Referring to the match, Demetriou explained, “Their physical advantage took us aback, and our attempt at comeback was thwarted by our lack of discipline.” He remarked on their bare 60% completion, adding, “Despite the score at 26-16, there was still hope. However, our inability to retain possession was our downfall.”
He refused to defend their conceding of 26 points, admitting that their desperation came too late, but emphasised the potential he sees in his team. In reference to the last eight minutes, where they managed a return from 26-0 to 26-16, Demetriou stated, “We revealed evidence of a promising trajectory, though our game smarts were deficient for us to have any real chance.”
In terms of penalties, Demetriou explained that they committed another five errors which proved costly. Moving forward, the Rabbitohs now await the match review committee’s decision concerning the high shot by Thomas Burgess on Tom Hazelton. Commentators are still debating whether there was any contact with the head. Demetriou responded, “While I admire the intent, head contact is inexcusable,” agreeing that the decisions made during the game were justified and blaming the team’s insufficient discipline.