Loss 'Unacceptable': Maguire

This article first appeared on NRL.com.

Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire has refused to blame a five-day turnaround for his side's disappointing 22-16 loss to the Eels on Friday night.  

Souths took on the Melbourne Storm in Perth last Sunday evening and appeared sluggish on Friday night against a Parramatta side that killed off the contest before half-time with three unanswered tries in the opening 40 minutes.  

Against a side missing Corey Norman, Michael Jennings and Nathan Brown, the Bunnies were in a good position to claim the two competition points ahead of their Round 13 bye. 

"It was unacceptable for what we expect so we have a fair bit of work ahead of us, that's for sure," Maguire said.  

"We need to have a good, hard look at ourselves. We just need to look in the mirror and do the things we need to do for our teammates.  

"We're a team at the moment that can knock out a reasonable performance five days ago, and then the turnaround, we ended up tossing out that.  

"The last five or so minutes we showed some form with the footy, so it's got nothing to do with what a lot of people keep asking me about short turnarounds. I hear about people going to Origin and turning up three days later and playing. I think they're poor excuses so we can wipe those ones out.  

"The boys know how to prepare and turn up so I don't wear that." 

‌It was a night of few positives for the Bunnies who produced 12 errors in the six-point loss. According to Maguire, that's the area that needs fixing if his side is to return to winning ways after next week's bye. 

"I think a good starting point is hanging on to the ball. We need to make sure we look after the ball and complete," he said.  

"It's been in the game ever since it started so [we need to work on] completing, building pressure and putting yourself in opportunities which we didn't do tonight. Our lack of completion is something that if we don't fix as a group, then we'll keep doing the same thing. My players need to fix that." 

Despite having a 4-8 record after 12 rounds, Maguire is still confident his side can play finals football in 2017 if they tweak a few parts of their game.  

"In this competition, you can turn things around very quickly," he said. 

"I've got a group that I really believe in and I really believe that if they fix up a few areas that we just spoke about then the competition is wide open. We've got to be a group and look at each other and go 'this is what we need to do this week and then go out and do it'."