Maguire's Insights: Round 18, 2017
It's Round 18 and the oldest rivalry in Rugby League is heating up for Friday night's clash at Allianz Stadium. Head Coach Michael Maguire gives his insights before the derby!
With the boys in Red & Green delivering their best performance of the season last Sunday against the Penrith Panthers, the Head Coach is confident his men can use this as a springboard into the coming fixtures.
Heading into Friday's clash with the traditional enemies, Maguire is asking his men to show the same comradery and passion as they did on Sunday.
"It was a game of building a lot of belief inside the boys," said Maguire.
"The confidence they showed and the way they stuck at it for 80 minutes was the most pleasing part. You saw at the back end of the game when Penrith came at us and the boys were saving tries - there's a lot of spirit in the team and it's really great to see it coming out.
"We looked after the ball at the right times and I thought we defended really strong and that's something we'll have to do this Friday."
The Rabbitohs boss was especially impressed with the performances of his young players who have been improving each game. It's this youth foundation that Maguire is attempting to build into the back end of 2017 and beyond.
"Time and experience; young Zane is growing every week and Angus, young Tyrell - a lot of our younger boys have really come on in their game and I see them growing within what we're doing," said Maguire.
"It's obviously been a bit of time but it's really starting to pay off now and all the work that they're putting on in the background is coming out on the park.
"I get to see that week in and week out at trainings but to see it come out like it did in the Panthers game was great but it's about building on that now and it's obviously another big game on Friday."
After finally getting a Sunday afternoon game at ANZ Stadium, Maguire was blown away by the support shown in the grandstands from the Red & Green faithful. Something that he'd love to see replicated this Friday against the Roosters.
"I think it's what we get to see from our fans - they were unreal in the last game," said Maguire.
"It was great to see the smiles on their faces and they rip in and get stuck behind us."
Not that Souths need extra motivation to put in a big performance against the Roosters, the Ron Coote Cup will be hanging on the line this Friday. The Rabbitohs currently hold the trophy but trail by 14 points on aggregate.
Maguire believes the Club owes it to Coote to display the same kind of passion and determination that the legendary lock showed during his time at Redfern.
"Someone like Ronny (Ron Coote) is a big part of it. He's a living legend inside this Club," said Maguire.
"He tells a lot of stories about his great times here at Souths. We've been fortunate over the last couple of weeks to have a few old boys events and it's great to see a lot of them coming back and enjoying the Club that they've made."