NRL: Rabbitohs must lift standard to break losing streak, coach says

By Darren Walton

Greg Inglis is tackled by Luke Burgess during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Australia. Photo / Getty Images
Greg Inglis is tackled by Luke Burgess during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Australia. Photo / Getty Images

South Sydney coach Michael Maguire admits the Rabbitohs must get their shop in order to return to the NRL winners' list.

Maguire said Souths' defence, discipline and ball control were all substandard in last weekend's 25-16 loss to Wests Tigers.

He said anything less than a vastly improved performance would result in another defeat against Canberra at ANZ Stadium tomorrow. Such a result would mean three consecutive losses for Maguire for the first time since replacing John Lang as coach in 2012.

"We haven't had the two results we would have liked the last two weeks and we're working hard and doing all the preparation to get the result we're after," Maguire said yesterday. "We've put our heads down and we're looking at the things we judge as our standards and we want to make sure we're hitting those this week.

"There were a lot of areas of our game that we went away from, but I thought the defence was the biggest thing that we lacked.

"As much as we had the ball at times, we kept dropping it. So we had to do a lot of defence and unfortunately that fatigue hurt us, but that's no excuse."

Canberra have also opened 2014 with just one win from three starts, but Maguire knows the Raiders have the ability to carve up any opposition if fleet-footed fullback Anthony Milford and classy centre Jarrod Croker are allowed to run free.

"Milford's a quality player, very quick, so we're going to be very aware of where he is on the field," he said. "They've obviously got a fair forward pack ... so it's going to be a good battle there, and young Croker, he's playing some good footy as well.

"They're feeding early ball to him so I'd imagine they're going to give him some opportunity when they have the ball."

The Rabbitohs lost all attacking structure after Greg Inglis was KO'd in the opening minutes against the Tigers, but the star fullback will be back on deck tomorrow.

- AAP

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