Souths eye positives from heavy loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Souths eye positives from heavy loss

Steve Jancetic 14/02/2011 06:53:20 PM Comments (0)

They're not quite ignoring the scoreline, but South Sydney players and officials are hardly beating themselves up about their Charity Shield thumping at the hands of premiers St George Illawarra.

The Dragons cruised to a 32-10 win over a youthful Rabbitohs side at ANZ Stadium on Sunday night, with the Redfern-based club unable to sustain an encouraging start to the contest.

Coach John Lang described the defeat as an invaluable learning experience, with eight members of Sunday night's extended squad having played in last year's Toyota Cup grand final.

But it wasn't just the youngsters who received an education, with veteran prop Ben Ross admitting the result had worked to highlight several flaws in the Rabbitohs game.

"The loss isn't a big thing for us, it's what we've done wrong and right and we'll go into our video sessions and do a lot of work and figure out what we have to improve on," Ross told reporters at Monday's recovery session.

"That's why we play trials, we do those things to find out what we can improve on."

While the Dragons proved the Bunnies have plenty of areas to work on, there is little doubt that improvement will come with the return of key personnel.

Star signing Greg Inglis, Sam Burgess, Dave Taylor, Issac Luke, Luke Stuart, Nathan Merritt and Michael Crocker were all spectators on Sunday night, but all would command a place in Lang's round one side if fit.

Still, Lang said the opportunity to give young backs Junior Vaivai, Kane Morgan and Josh Mansour a run against internationals Mark Gasnier, Matt Cooper, Darius Boyd and Jason Nightingale would no doubt pay dividends in the long run.

"It was the first go at that level for quite a few of those younger guys and I thought a lot of them did well in patches," Lang said.

"At times they were found out. I think when we go back and look at the game I think we'll get a lot out of it from the coaching staff point of view and I think a lot of the younger players will get a lot out of it ... it's got to be a great experience for them."

Lang said he expected to have All Stars representatives Taylor and Merritt available for Saturday night's trial against Gold Coast, while Stuart is also some chance of returning from a shoulder injury.

The clash with the Titans is the Rabbitohs final pre-season hitout before their season opener against the Sydney Roosters on March 11, with Lang hopeful of having gun trio Inglis, Burgess and Luke at his disposal.

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