Wighton defends Demetriou, quits social media

Scott Bailey |

Jack Wighton is in a much happier place after the win over Canterbury and quitting social media.
Jack Wighton is in a much happier place after the win over Canterbury and quitting social media.

Jack Wighton has launched an emphatic defence against “undeserved” criticism of South Sydney coach Jason Demetriou, while revealing the scrutiny on the club prompted him to quit social media.

Wighton starred as the Rabbitohs claimed their first win of the season on Good Friday, bagging a double in his second game for his new team against Canterbury.

The Souths centre admitted he had been “embarrassed” by his first-up performance against the Roosters a week earlier, where the Rabbitohs were beaten 48-6.

The loss intensified pressure on under-fire coach Demetriou, as the Rabbitohs fell to a 0-3 start after their capitulation at the end of last season.

By Wighton insisted it (pressure) was largely unfair.

“I feel for him. I’ve been here only recently and he’s a great bloke and a great coach,” Wighton said.

“What he’s copping he don’t deserve. So to get the win for ourselves, but definitely for him, is huge.

“There was no lack of effort. Anybody who says there was a lack of effort, I think, that was just wrong, 

“There was a lot of effort, it just wasn’t effort together, and those small areas led to our losses.

“We’ve got a great team that’s been in the wars a little bit, so to get them two points is just a great feeling.”

The Rabbitohs’ slump has been a tough initiation to life in the Sydney spotlight for Wighton.

The former Canberra Dally M winner admitted he had been taken aback by the spotlight on the club, which has regularly attracted back-page headlines for the past month.

“I suppose I see what it means to be at a big club like Souths now,” Wighton said.

“I deleted Instagram off my phone at the beginning of this week so I don’t even know what is going on. 

“You’ve got to surround yourself with positive thoughts and positive people, and that’s not where I was at this week, so I just done that.

“Canberra’s got a lot of beautiful history, but Souths is the oldest club in the NRL and it is based in the middle of Sydney. 

“So that comes with the territory, that type of pressure to perform.”

Wighton’s double gave Souths a glimpse of what can be done on their dangerous left edge this season.

Winger Alex Johnston also found clean space again for the first time this year, but there are concerns over a hamstring injury suffered late.

AAP