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Early season errors still hurting South Sydney

“We’re not giving ourselves a chance,” Demetriou rues missed chances as errors plague Rabbitohs.

Jason Demetriou has stated his frustration in the completion rate and error count for the Rabbitohs, as they went down in the dying seconds to the Tigers on Saturday night.

“It’s just not good enough,” Demetriou said after such a tight 80 minutes of play, the Rabbitohs’ errors set them back in attack and left the defence on the backfoot from the early stages.

NRL Press Conference: Wests Tigers v Rabbitohs - Round 7, 2022

“A lot of it was our own doing, I thought the Tigers were pretty good. They did what we thought they would do, they completed and high and we had 16 errors, we’re not giving ourselves a chance, every loss this year I’ve come in here and said the same thing,” Demetriou said.

“We were under 70% completion [rate], 16 errors with a lot of them coming in the back of the field… I don’t think it’s a matter of shape execution, I thought we looked dangerous when we got through our sets, it’s individuals, loose carries, not taking ownership of the footy, pushing passes we shouldn’t push, like I said it’s just reoccurring errors we’re going to have to address,” he said.

Milne sent to the bin

The errors, penalties, early injuries and sin bins all resulted in a disappointing opening stanza to the game, which saw the Tigers take full control of the game, holding over 73% of the ball throughout the first ten minutes. A few set restarts, along with some uncharacteristic errors from the Rabbitohs in attack led the Tigers to a strong start, giving them a massive advantage in allowing their forwards to tire down South Sydney’s pack.

As fatigue began to become a factor throughout the game, so did the errors and penalties as the game progressed. With 13 more errors than their opponents, the Rabbitohs fell agonisingly short on a few occasions as the momentum began to shift in their favour.

Considering the errors and penalties that were thrown their way, the Rabbitohs performance was very respectable, seeing three players forced off for the remainder of the game was also another massive blow, but one that the players managed to get through.

It seemed as though the Rabbitohs managed to find a second-wind when the game began to go against them, with a man down they played some impressive footy and battled through the adversary on many occasions.

“I thought we played our best footy with a man less, we got through our sets and played a bit more composed because we knew we had to, it’s probably a mindset that we should have had for longer,” Demetriou said.

Walker hits back for the Bunnies

“It’s happened multiple times this year where on the back of points we’re coming up with an error, then I think we went eight or nine sets where we didn’t touch the footy, we were 90 odd tackles more at halftime and it takes its toll on our attack as well it fatigues you, to our middles credit, their resilience in the middle third was superb, for them to keep turning up and time and time again to keep us in the game was special,” he said.

At full-time, the Rabbitohs had 77 more tackles and had 12 less sets than their opponents, with the defensive pressure mounting and limited time with the ball in hand, it was a valiant effort from Souths to maintain such a close result for the majority of the game.

With all factors considered, to say the Rabbitohs will feel disappointed at the final result would be an understatement, on many occasions Souths looked the better side and if not for some desperate last ditch efforts from the Tigers attack, they almost definitely would be looking at the match with a much better score line.

The incredible effort on display throughout the match was highlighted in the final plays where they continually denied the Tigers of a field-goal attempt, with some inspiring plays from the forwards to charge down and place immense pressure on Jackson Hastings and Jock Madden’s drop-kick chances, an unlucky deflection from charge down of a field-goal attempt resulted in the game winning shot from Brooks, a highlight of the bad luck that the Rabbitohs were given on the day.

Koloamatangi scores to ensure a grandstand finish

After such a rollercoaster game where the momentum switched sides for long periods of the game, the Rabbitohs effort cannot be denied and although the result didn’t go their way, there is plenty to be optimistic about, leading into next week’s massive clash with Manly next Friday night.

Acknowledgement of Country

South Sydney Rabbitohs respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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