Demetriou expecting more heat after Souths horror show

Melissa Woods |

Rabbitohs under-pressure coach Jason Demetriou at the Anzac Day ceremony before the  Storm game.
Rabbitohs under-pressure coach Jason Demetriou at the Anzac Day ceremony before the Storm game.

Coach Jason Demetriou is expecting more pressure on his position after South Sydney’s horror NRL season continued, conceding their biggest score  of the year.

The Rabbitohs were outclassed in the Anzac Day clash but Melbourne’s 10 tries in a 54-20 loss was the most concerning statistic with the coach calling on his players to “take some ownership”.

Demetriou was already on a knife’s edge as coach with the side anchoring the ladder on just one win, and they entered round eight hoping to show signs of improvement.

While there were promising glimpses in attack, leaking six first-half tries and 44 missed tackles for the match meant they were never in the contest.

The headlines around the coach died down through their bye week but he expected the heat to be back on.

“It will be same again,” Demetriou said.

“It’s not going to change unless we start putting in performances that get the results we want, but, more importantly, performances we know we’re capable of.

“There’s patches in that game where we get back to 36-20, showed a lot of resolve, but it’s either side of halftime again, three weeks in a row where we’ve let the game go.

“The players have got to take some ownership of that and take some ownership of their own performances and start executing the things that we know we can.”

The Storm's Xavier Coates scores a try
Souths were on the end of brilliance from the Storm’s Xavier Coates in the Anzac Day hammering. (Scott Barbour/AAP PHOTOS)

He said he and his coaches had set themselves a five-week plan to turn their season around, with the block including the champion Panthers and then winnable games against teams outside the eight, the Dragons, Cowboys and Eels.

“We set ourselves a five-week plan to improve and we’ll stay to that because it’s going to improve in one night, in one week, but it will get better,” Demetriou said.

He said he had “no idea” if the Souths hierachy would give him that time.

“I love coaching this club, love coaching this team and I’ll turn up and keep giving me best and if someone taps me on the shoulder and says that time’s up, I can’t control that.”

He said their season was “salvageable” if the players bought in to it.

“I said to the players, the talk’s over, we need to deliver, we need to get it done.”

Former assistant David Furner rejoined the staff last week as the defence coach, and Demetriou insisted he could already see an impact.

“David has come in and done a good job, he’s done what was required to make sure we’re identifying the things we need to be better at.

“We’ve trained at that but we didn’t put it on the field and that’s the difference at the moment.”